The first wave of reactions to Bohemian Rhapsody has arrived. The Queen biopic has been in the works for a very long time and, after years of development, it's finally hitting theaters next month. Fox has screened the movie and critics have weighed in with their initial reactions on social media. So how did it turn out? Assuming this initial wave of response holds true for moviegoers, it's something of a mixed bag.
Based on what has been said on Twitter so far, it sounds like Bohemian Rhapsody is a by-the-numbers biopic. Depending on one's level of expectations, that could be a good or a bad thing. Just don't go in expecting a hot take on Queen. Here's what The New York Times' Kyle Buchanan had to say about it.
"Bohemian Rhapsody is a glorified Wikipedia entry. But Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury (and wears his wonderful costumes) with incredible gusto."
On the surface, that may sound a bit harsh but then again, Queen has a pretty interesting story without having to spice things up too much. So bringing that Wikipedia page to life may just do the trick for many. One thing that seems to be near universal at this point is high praise for Rami Malek and his performance as the late Freddie Mercury. It sounds like, if nothing else, this movie is going to put him right in the heart of this year's Oscar race for Best Actor. Here's what SyFy Wire's Jenna Busch had to say about it.
"Absolutely beyond blown away by #BohemianRhapsody! Rami Malek is phenomenal. Gorgeous story, amazing concert movie...I don't have enough words!"
Bohemian Rhapsody did suffer from some speedbumps during production. Specifically, Bryan Singer, who remains the credited director, disappeared from set for several days and was ultimately fired from his gig. Eddie the Eagle director Dexter Fletcher was brought in to finish the movie. The Los Angeles Times' Jen Yamato had one of the more harsh reactions to the movie, which may have suffered due to these director troubles, or for any number of behind-the-scenes reasons.
"Watching Bohemian Rhapsodyreminded me of the time I subjected a karaoke bar to Queen's 'Who Wants To Live Forever.' And, well, sometimes you've got to read a room."
Joining Rami Malek as the members of Queen are Gwilym Lee as Brian May, Joseph Mazzello as John Deacon and Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor. At the present time, full reviews for the movie have not yet been revealed, so we don't have a Rotten Tomatoes score or anything like that to go on. Nor do we have more thorough reactions to provide a bit more context. Whatever the case may be on that front, it sounds like this will be worth it just for Malek's performance alone. Fox is set to release Bohemian Rhapsody in theaters on November 2. Be sure to check out more of the early reactions for yourself below.
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is a glorified Wikipedia entry but Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury (and wears his wonderful costumes) with incredible gusto— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) October 7, 2018
Watching BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY reminded me of the time I subjected a karaoke bar to Queen's "Who Wants To Live Forever" (because HIGHLANDER, obvi) and, well, sometimes you've got to read a room pic.twitter.com/k6VaFylvm9— jen yamato (@jenyamato) October 7, 2018
just did a double feature of A STAR IS BORN and BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY and yeeeeesh that contrast didn’t do the latter any favors. Rami Malek sure nails that imitation, tho.— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) October 8, 2018
Bohemian Rhapsody is a straight-on biopic with plenty of Queen music and a strong performance by Rami Malek. It will get mixed reviews. It might play with audiences.— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) October 7, 2018
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY: That Live Aid performance gave me chills. The rest of the movie...— erickohn (@erickohn) October 8, 2018
Bloody Hell! Absolutely did not expect @BoRhapMovie to be a thousand degrees of fantastic. Rami Malek has a kind of magic and one vision of a champion performance. Prepare to be rocked!!! #BohemianRhapsodypic.twitter.com/dzJ7UO6hYu— @jazzt (@jazzt) October 7, 2018
My biggest takeaway from BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY is how much the rest of Queen resents Freddie Mercury. But Rami Malek is outstanding. Also, the fact Mike Myers is in this movie is genius and insane.— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) October 8, 2018
How do you turn an ok movie into a good one? Five words: Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. #BohemianRhapsody— Mara Reinstein (@MaraReinstein) October 8, 2018
HOLY HELL!! #BohemianRhapsody is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!! A rousing emotional cinematic champion that will rock you! #RamiMalek is magnificent! It’s great FUN & it will ROCK YOU!! #AStarIsBorn, you’ve been served!! #Queen#FreddieMercury#Galileopic.twitter.com/grykKkGjoE— The WolfMantz (@MovieMantz) October 7, 2018
Rami Malik’s phenomenal and game-changing performance as the legendary Freddie Mercury/Farrokh Bulsara cuts through what could have been a very formulaic and basic story of #Queen in #BohemianRhapsody. He owns the fuck out of that film and breathes life into Mercury.— Dino-Ray Ramos (@DinoRay) October 7, 2018