Rocketman

In Cinemas Now

Taron Egerton is Elton John in this fantasy biopic that recounts his years as a young prodigy through to his musical partnership with Bernie Taupin.

"Rocketman is an epic musical that follows the transformation of shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton John (Egerton). Set to Sir Elton's most beloved songs — performed by Egerton — the film tells the inspirational story of how a small-town boy became one of the most iconic figures in pop culture. Also starring Jamie Bell (as John's songwriting partner Bernie Taupin), Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard." (Toronto International Film Festival)

Trailers

Directed by

Written by

Drama, Fantasy, Music, True Story & Biography

121mins

Rating: M Mature themes, drug use, sex scene and frequent coarse language

UK

It’s been nearly 20 years since Elton John first started trying to get a film made about his life. Now the wait is finally over with the arrival of Rocketman, the visually stunning, audaciously slanted musical biopic dedicated to the flamboyant singer’s rise from obscurity to fame and fortune.

Directed by Dexter Fletcher (who also took over the reins for Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer’s banishment) and boasting producer credits for Elton and his husband David Furnish, Rocketman wisely forgoes any claims to realism, taking us instead on the sparklingly spectacular journey he took from shy, neglected child prodigy to petulant, out of control alcoholic.

Elevated considerably by a charming, transformative performance by Taron Egerton, as music biopics go it’s all rather standard fare, luxuriating in the extravagance of its subject’s stage persona while pointedly insisting on his role as a hapless victim behind the scenes: of horrible, uncaring parents; his own irrepressible talent; and, of course, sinister rock n’ roll types intent on stuffing him full of drugs, gassing him up and sucking him dry.

Yet as we know (and as a cheery epilogue reminds us) Elton’s life is hardly a tragedy—and having been apparently sober, happy and extremely wealthy for the past 30 years, there is a distinct (and delicious) pettiness at the heart of Rocketman that thankfully gives its more maudlin moments at edge.

In fact, despite apparently embracing the spirit of forgiveness at the end of the film, the cartoonish villainy with which his various foes are depicted—in particular his mother (Bryce Dallas-Howard) and his ex-lover John Reid (Richard Madden)—makes it pretty clear that Elton does not in fact excuse any of these people and instead the film takes obvious joy in airing them out. Is it any wonder he spent so long trying to get it made?

There is nothing subtle, nor particularly insightful, about Rocketman, but whether he’s hugging his childhood self the way his father never did, or literally taking off into the sky like a rocket at the crescendo of the song Rocket Man, it seems Elton’s dream has at last been realised in the form of a fun, self-serving, sing-a-long-able romp that is at its best when it’s being as much a diva as its subject.

FilmInk (Australia)

press

...contains an emotional truth that will likely resonate with you for a long, long time.

Vanity Fair

press

It's a satisfying and even rousing film at times, but it doesn't provide much enlightenment.

Vox

press

Rocketman sometimes feels like it's lost its way, especially near the end. But it's still a joyous celebration, a colourful story about love that can help people heal.

Empire (UK)

press

A sequin-encrusted delight. On paper it reads like a by-the-book biopic; on screen it explodes with the kind of colour and energy that only Elton John himself could invoke.

Los Angeles Times

press

As with its beloved subject and his enormous catalog of multiplatinum earworms, the movie's familiarity turns out to be crucial to its charm.

Total Film (UK)

press

The result is a far more honest-feeling depiction of the stratospheric highs and cavernous lows of one of our greatest musical minds, with a never-better Egerton wearing his heart on his sleeve throughout.

TimeOut (New York)

press

The songs explode from the screen, time jumps catapult the story forward with exhilarating élan and even the emotional stuff lands, for the most part.

Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)

press

While it's no Moonwalker, Rocketman's splashier moments will be far more challenging to music-but-not-musical fans than Rhapsody was. However, once you let your inhibitions and reservations go, two hours won't seem like any kind of Sacrifice at all.
Barny

Barny

user


I thought I was seeing a Ron Howard film about Buzz Aldrin ?

Side one of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was my requested bedtime music as a 5 year old. Now as a middle aged jaded old man this film had me realize that while I don't own any of Elton's album's, I've apparently been carrying a 'best of' in my emotional psyche. All the hits where there...and the film's title song sequence was phenomenal.

This film does many things better than Bohemian Rhapsody, most importantly it takes it's time telling the story, whereas Boh-Rap rushed everything along in order to get Live Aid. Back to my 'emotional best of' the music ques are genius in how they propel the drama and a personal reminder of just how his songs have been around me growing and just how damn good those songs are. Queen had the anthems but Taupin/Dwight wrote masterpieces - I'm about ready to purchase a Best of the Bitch CD for my midlife car stereo.

This emerging Rock'n'Roll Cinematic Universe is a winner in that as viewer, the enjoyment of the music whisks you into the story.

P.S. I remember years ago sitting in a rather empty and beautifully air-conditioned Imax one summer afternoon with my popcorn, choc top & coke waiting The Dark Knight to screen. Elton John's 'Blue Eyes' was playing over the sound system ...at the time I sat in tranquil bliss dipping my popcorn into my ice cream thinking, "Damn this song IS really good!"


Mostly magical

It's vibrant, magical and poignant when necessary; with overall fantastic performances/music and good directing making up for it's mostly on point pacing and rather conventional plot.


Glitzy Charmer

Okay, so less of a biopic more a greatest hits. This is HIS story about what he had to overcome to become a legend. I am not a fan of musicals and neither am I an Elton fan but this flick has the heart and charm to carry it's own weight. There were villains aplenty and very few good guys on his way up the ladder to success according to Elton so a grain of salt is needed, but Taron Egerton does a sterling job and there are plenty of solid performances around him including the wonderful Jamie Bell. Lovely to look at, and well musically arranged ,this is entertaining enough for even non fans. Elton's lifestyle choices preclude this from being a movie for the young which is a shame really as the suggestion is that any little battler can win with talent, hard work and persistence. Silly specs optional.