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Wick's Review

Created Jan 27, 2019 05:41AM PST • Edited Feb 03, 2019 06:50PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    Queen were never one of my bands. No Queen on vinyl, nor even any in my pocket. Sure, I was awed by the rangy brilliance of Bohemian Rhapsody, plus well entertained by the propulsive insouciance of Killer Queen and pop perfection of Crazy Little Thing Called Love. But the fascist commercialism of We Are the Champions repelled me and the hamfisted vulgarity of Another One Bites the Dust repelled me even more.

    Still, talent is talent and Freddie Mercury had the best vocal chops of any rock singer ever. Plus, his three bandmates were more than competent rockstars and songwriters, milquetoast characters though they may be. In short, Queen are rock royalty, with Freddie the Queen a Rockstar Erectus extraordinaire. That’s more than enough to tee up a primo docudrama about their story, with particular biopic attention paid to Farrokh Bulsara, the misfit son of Zoroastrian parents from an outer region of the British Empire. He will rock you.

    Bohemian Rhapsody is dogged by a loose regard for the facts and some strenuous hagiography. Surviving Queensmen Brian May & Roger Taylor produced the music, while the band’s longtime manager – dubbed Miami Beach – exec-produced the movie. The hell with facts. They filmed the legend. Why not, it’s rock-and-roll, plus their doppelgängers have prominent roles in the movie they produced about themselves.

    Rockumentary issues aside, Bohemian Rhapsody is sociologically interesting. It shines a light on Farrokh Bulsara, the immigrant outsider who became a global superstar. The fact that Freddie Mercury could sing like no rockstar before or since makes this a rockstar rhapsody for pretty much any self-respecting rock fan.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    Rami Malek is entirely convincing as flamboyant Freddie Mercury and his diffident alter ego Farrokh Bulsara. Malek has a startling look to him that exceeds even the superstar profile of his character, exacerbated by the prosthetic teeth stuffed in his mouth, which seem more pronounced than in reality.

    Queen
    • Gwilym Lee plays Brian May, an astrophysicist who is also a lead guitarist from central casting.
    • Ben Hardy plays Roger Taylor, drummer and singer.
    • Joe Mazzello plays John Deacon, bassist and songwriter.
    • Aidan Gillen plays manager John Reid.
    • Tom Hollander as Jim Beach, Queen’s lawyer turned manager, dubbed Miami Beach by Mercury.
    Others
    • Lucy Boynton plays Mary Austin, the love of Freddie Mercury’s life. Boynton specializes in rock movies, first catching my attention as the cool girlfriend in Sing Street.
    • Allen Leech as Paul Prenter, Mercury’s personal manager
    • Mike Myers plays a record company executive. It’s not a great performance, and isn’t helped by an unfunny reference to the classic Bohemian Rhapsody scene in Wayne’s World.
    • Aaron McCusker as Jim Hutton, Mercury’s boyfriend
    • Meneka Das & Ace Bhatti as Mercury’s mother & father
    • Dermot Murphy as Bob Geldof, the rockstar behind Live AID
    • Adam Lambert cameos as one of Mercury’s truck-stop hookups.
  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Good 3.0
  8. Very Good 3.5
  9. Direction Very Good 3.5
  10. Play Good 3.0
  11. Music Perfect 5.0
  12. Visuals Great 4.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.8
  15. Sex Titillating 2.5
  16. Violence Gentle 1.0
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.0
  18. Glib 1.2

    Bohemian Rhapsody plays fast and loose with the facts, a circumstance that bothers the hell out of certain constituencies of which I’m not a member.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.7
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0

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