Rocketman surely had a lot to live up to, having to somehow pay tribute to one of the greatest music icons to ever walk the Earth. Elton John is a legend in the music industry, standing out as an enigma in one of the wildest eras of music history. In order to honor such an outrageously magnificent legend, Rocketman plays every card it possibly can in just the right ways.
Right off the bat, the movie establishes that this will be one hell of an absurd experience, with the opening number of this musical biopic being a rendition of "The Bitch is Back" performed by a ten year old in the middle of a rehab session while Elton John is dressed like a devil. It's one of the most unique ways to open a movie, yet it is the perfect opening, preparing audiences for the off-the-walls chaos and absurdity that will follow.
While there is certainly a lot of folly in Rocketman to show Elton John's journey in the most theatrical way, this biopic also does a good job at maintaining its status as a biopic. Unlike a certain other recent biopic about a rock icon, Rocketman does a magnificent job at accurately portraying its star's life story, showing his achievements just as much as his mistakes, and even going into the deeper aspects of his life that most people did not know about. This movie feels both like an homage to Elton John and Elton's way of telling his story to the world, as he presumably had a hand to play in developing the narrative.
Another wonderful aspect of Rocketman is its music. Rather than just featuring standard covers of all of Elton John's hits sung by Taron Egerton, Rocketman was made as a full-fledged musical, which meant that nearly every member of the cast was allowed to sing some of Elton's songs in a brand new way. While the musical moments of Rocketman certainly had a large element of familiarity, nearly every song was performed in such a new way that it felt like a completely new experience to hear them in the movie.
The only real drawback of Rocketman is actually connected to its greatest strength - it's so over the top that at times, it loses focus. For some of the scenes scattered across the movie, the motivations of the characters are unclear, with some of the scenes completely dropping their original purpose just to serve a different one. The best example of this came in the first half of the movie when Elton John drove to his father's house to "come out" to him.
This was the only purpose for Elton visiting his father, yet it was never brought up at all during the scene. When Elton left without telling this vitally important piece of information to his father, it was never mentioned again, despite it being stated earlier that not telling his father would seriously damage his career. This was an important plot point that really should've been addressed, yet the movie chose to focus on Elton's inner mayhem rather than the plot point that got him there. While the mayhem was played off well, the movie lost some of its strength as a narrative because of it.
Overall, however, Rocketman is an incredibly wacky and entertaining tribute that any fan of Elton John will surely want to see. This biopic from Paramount Pictures is an incredibly unique film that is sure to dazzle and amaze, and hopefully even make you tap your foot. The incredible and emotional performance by Taron Egerton really sells Rocketman as a spectacle that you will not want to miss. 9/10.