Rocketman (2019)

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t know that much about Elton John other than his greatest hits and the general outline of his public persona before watching this biopic, but it’s a strong, energetic and entertaining example of its genre. Taron Egerton is truly remarkable in the lead role: His portrayal of John is consistent and totally believable, and although he doesn’t really sound like him, his singing is impressively dexterous. Director Dexter Fletcher weaves much of John’s catalog of classics into the movie’s structure, so the movie has a habit of interrupting its narrative to showcase the singer’s work which further helps develop him as a three dimensional character instead of a facsimile of his public persona. Jamie Bell also does exemplary work as John’s longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, and his gentle approach manages to complement Egerton’s more flamboyant performance. It’s practically impossible to walk away from “Rocketman” without a variety of Elton John songs stuck in your head, but the movie’s strengths go beyond merely highlighting his body of work thanks to its effective combination of Hollywood biopic conventions and emotive Broadway-style musical performances.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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