Grade: B+

Thanks to 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody, many people are quick to compare the Freddy Mercury biopic to the new Elton John biopic “Rocketman.”  The truth is, they are actually pretty different. Mainly because Rocketman takes more of a musical fantasy approach to telling John’s story compared to the more true to reality style of Bohemian Rhapsody.  

To be perfectly frank, John had a pretty messed up childhood that was filled with a lack of acceptance and support from practically both of his parents.  Early on he had a passion for music. John would stay up late in his bed studying sheet music. Not one of his parents really believed in his passion even though he was an extraordinary talent from the get go.  He was basically born a musical genius. When John finally achieves success with his music, of course sleaze-ball managers come around and try to piggy back off the talent. That is exactly what happened to John and it is what led him into a dangerous downward spiral that introduced him to drugs and lots of sex.  Being that John is gay, he had sexual relations with many men while partying literally like a rockstar. His fame soared to astronomical heights and often times, it leads to trouble. “Sex, drugs, and rock and roll” was definitely a theme in John’s early life. He was luckily one of the few rock stars to outlive the dangerous lifestyle.

Rocketman, despite its flashy and flamboyant look, is actually quite dark.  It is an honest no holds barred look at John’s life up until his stay in rehab.  While the studios wanted the movie to receive the more child friendly PG-13 rating, Elton fought for the R rating simply because he said that he did not live a PG-13 life.  So throughout the 121 minute journey with Elton is definitely not one you will be smiling all the way through.

Rocketman is a huge musical featuring all the hits from “Your Song” to “Crocodile Rock.”  Taron Edgerton portrays Sir Elton and, for the most part, sounds very similar to him. Just like Tom Cruise doing all of his stunts, Edgerton sings all of his songs.  Do not be surprised to see Edgerton with some Oscar hardware come Oscar season. He does an excellent job!

The cinematography in Rocketman was excellent! The movie seamlessly switches from a fantasy scene to one in reality and some scenes are beautiful. To avoid spoilers of course I will be vague, there is an underwater scene that is just simply visually stunning. During various scenes in the movie, you will feel as if you are high yourself as it feels like an acid trip.

If you’re a fan of musicals and especially a fan of Elton John’s music, Rocketman is a must see!  I saw it in a rockin cranked up Dolby theater and the experience was amazing!!!! You’ll have a great time rocking out to some classic rock tunes and you’ll learn a ton about Elton John’s early life.

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