HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Rocketman Elton Beltin' It Out
Year: 2019
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Stars: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Gemma Jones, Stephen Mackintosh, Stephen Graham, Tate Donovan, Tom Bennett, Matthew Illesley, Kit Connor, Charlie Rowe, Celinde Schoenmaker, Ophelia Lovibond, Harriet Walter
Genre: Musical, BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Rock star Elton John (Taron Egerton) has suffered over a decade of addictions - to alcohol, cocaine, food, shopping, and more - and has decided enough is enough, so stomps off in his platform heels to rehab, in full stage regalia. On sitting down among his fellow addicts, he begins his story, starting with his childhood in London where he grew up under his parents' troubled marriage and the feeling that he was not going to get the love he needed from these two people who brought him into the world. He did have a supportive grandmother, who noted his talent with the piano and encouraged him into lessons, which led to a scholarship and eventual blossoming as a writer and performer...

But was he happy? He was happy when he produced this film with his husband David Furnish, having finally settled down after all that debauchery to start a family of his own, as if he wanted to do the whole parents thing properly, unlike actual relatives, and that mixture of guilt and resentment fuelled the drama in his biopic, directed by Dexter Fletcher who had recently rescued the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. The impression was that the Freddie story had been shortchanged by smoothing over some glaring and uncomfortable aspects of its subject's life, while Elton's story was far more authentic in this telling, and therefore the better picture.

It probably was since we got a lot more men kissing and simulating sex acts together, but despite this supposedly near the knuckle material there was a lot dispiritingly conventional about Rocketman (not to be confused with the Disney sci-fi comedy of a few years before). Fair enough, Elton (you just have to use his first name) had settled down into national treasure status and a comfy, if lavish, domesticity and Las Vegas residency, so was no longer the unlikely wild man of piano rock as a white, seventies Little Richard, but that lengthy era of his career had proven he had a spark of madness in him that boosted his material miles away from someone like Gilbert O'Sullivan.

You would search in vain for the streak of the crazy, the inspiration of the recklessly talented, in this biopic, which needed a Ken Russell to do the man justice, a director who was as wayward and ingenious as Elton and his best writing partner, Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell, not so bad) could be in combination. Russell had of course directed him in The Who's rock opera Tommy, which whatever else it may be was not subdued or sensible, and that approach would have been more satisfying: ditch the leaden dialogue scenes and let's have wall-to-wall music, then you would have had a treat for the senses, even if Elton was not performing the tunes himself. That was another issue: Egerton never came across as inhabiting the real persona, you were always aware it was Egerton you were hearing and watching.

Therefore, Rocketman was more about one film star's struggle to be taken seriously as a singer and thespian once you boiled it down, rather than a tribute to the power of Elton's stagecraft and way with a catchy tune. There's no doubt he had his demons, and that was down to problems with his parents at least part of the way, but we never got to the heart of the anguish that would lead someone hitting success in a big way to try and take their own life, it merely fed into setpiece musical numbers that were operating on a level of imagination that was not going to alienate any middle of the road fan who liked his Kiki Dee duet, but had never delved into the darker areas of Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy or the star's more complex albums from his first flush of success. It was not so much that there was a mad, magnificent film struggling to get out, more there was a mediocre run-through struggling to get out, and too often managing it. Despite the gay scenes, this was far too ordinary for a far from ordinary man, made by solid talents rather than those touched by the pixilated.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1190 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: