Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for this music biopic about the life and career of Elton John.
The Telegraph: ***** “a heart-racing, toe-tapping, all-glitter-cannons-blazing triumph on its own terms.”
BBC.co.uk: *** “The problem is superficiality. We see a lot of Elton John but we never get to know him. All the sex ‘n’ drugs give an illusion of candour but it’s really a mask to hide behind. The rags-to-riches element is told in a fairly perfunctory fashion, albeit lifted somewhat by the way in which the John/Taupin songbook is neatly weaved in for dramatic emphasis.”
The Guardian: *** “an honest, heartfelt tribute to Elton John’s music and his public image. But the man itself eluded it.”
Vox.com: “Rocketman sometimes feels like it’s lost its way, especially near the end. But it’s still a joyous celebration, a colorful story about love that can help people heal.”
Empire Online: **** ” even in Elton’s darker dalliances with addictions, Fletcher challenges the idea that bleak topics need to be presented bleakly, finding effervescence and warmth everywhere.”
Variety: “So, while it affords Fletcher the chance to envision “Rocketman” as a kind of Baz Luhrmann by way of David LaChapelle disco-ball fantasy — in which Elton and his circle are constantly breaking out into his most recognizable songs — is the bling really the thing that endears him to so many? Wouldn’t it be safe to conclude that Elton’s extravagant persona is somehow overcompensating for the actual person, and that any film about the early years of his career really ought to explore what made Reg tick?”
BFI: ” If you come to Rocketman expecting a generic Sunday-afternoon matinee you’ll be sorely disappointed – this is unrelentingly dazzling mashup of musical and bio-pic drama. So expect the unexpected – and give this feelgood gay-positive film the love that it demands.”
Screen Daily: “Rocketman is so energetic that it’s possible to be swept away by its enthusiasm for putting Reg on a pedestal. Too often, though, the film just flattens you, demanding fealty to Sir Elton.”
Time Out: **** “Rocketman gets far more right than it gets wrong. There’s no sugarcoating of the drugs-and-booze abuse, but it doesn’t lean in too hard on the cinematic clichés of white lines and endless empties either. Neither does it shy away from the question of John’s sexuality. There’s even—gasp—a sex scene between Elton and Reid that doesn’t lapse into coyness. It feels like a progressive moment: a significant step forward in this retro rush of a musical.”
Rocketman is released in cinemas on the 22nd May.