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Wick's Review

Created Jun 15, 2019 06:27AM PST • Edited Jun 21, 2019 12:40AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    “The bitch is back” in this rockstar revenge pic. Rockumentary in spirit and phantasmagoric in production, Rocketman is a largely satisfying dip in the deep well of Elton John’s bottomless self-regard.

    Studded with bits of fantasy, Rocketman is more Across the Universe than Bohemian Rhapsody, more rock opera than naturalistic biopic. Elton John’s life is nothing if not operatic: overwrought and opulent, the former with unrequited love, drugs and indulgence, the latter with talent, money and effluvia.

    The movie is scaffolded around Elton’s first time in recovery. “My name is Elton Hercules John and I’m an alcoholic, a cocaine addict, a sex addict, and I have a shopping problem.” To mention nothing of his ego. It then features often fantasized forays back and forth in time, from the childhood of little Reginald Dwight to the heights of Elton’s Seventies reign as the de facto Queen of Pop – Captain Fantastic come to screen life.

    Then there are the sexual politics that Elton holds dear, including showing his gay encounters. Indeed, Elton is a gay icon, a queen for the ages who came of age when homosexuality wasn’t just unaccepted, it wasn’t even acknowledged. Rocketman is thus a reminder of how far society has come in normalizing gayness.

    However, Elton the bitch and Elton the icon take a back seat to Elton the musical singularity, he of the rich voice and powerful piano. As inhabited by the tremendously talented Taron Egerton, singing Bernie Taupin’s lyrics, Rocketman’s Elton can’t help but warm the hardest of hearts. For fans, this is your movie.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    Taron Egerton rocks as Elton John. He makes a bitching bitch as it were. The acting we knew he could do, the singing not so much. While his voice isn’t close to the rich instrument of the real Elton’s, he’s plenty credible singing Your Song, Border Song, Tiny Dancer, Take Me to the Pilot, Pinball Wizard & Rocket Man.

    • Kit Connor and Matthew Illesley carry major parts of the movie as younger versions of Elton.
    • Jamie Bell essays lyricist extraordinaire Bernie Taupin as a laid-back Brit who loved America.
    • Richard Madden looks like a male model as Elton’s lover and manager John Reid.
    • Bryce Dallas Howard – an American – ably plays British harridan Sheila Eileen.
    • Stephen Graham as Dick James
    • Gemma Jones as Ivy
    • Charlie Rowe as Ray Williams
    • Rachel Muldoon as Kiki Dee
    • Celinde Schoenmaker as Renate Blauel
    • Tate Donovan as Doug Weston
  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Great 4.0

    Rocketman hits the funny bone when little Reg Dwight first sits to play at the Royal Academy of Music. He instantly mimics a complex piano piece, thus demonstrating a genius level of musicianship, Mozart like.

  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Very Good 3.5
  11. Music Really Great 4.5
  12. Visuals Very Good 3.5
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.4
  15. Sex Erotic 2.7
  16. Violence Gentle 1.0
  17. Rudeness Profane 3.5
  18. Surreal 2.5

    More than a little surreal, Dexter Fletcher’s film from Lee Hall’s script, based on Elton John’s memories, includes frequent song-and-dance numbers that don’t actually adhere to the laws of physics or history.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.8
  20. Biological Surreal 2.4
  21. Physical Supernatural 3.4


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