Some movies are hard to rate. This movie falls into this category. When thinking about everything… the music, the acting, the story, the flow of the movie… different numbers pop into my head, ranging from a 3.5 to a 4.5 (yeah, it’s that good). I settled in the middle with a 4 Icee out of 5 rating. I didn’t see Bohemian Rhapsody so I can’t compare this movie to that, but it is obvious that this movie got made because of the success of the other.
The music in this movie is phenominal. After all, it’s Elton freakin’ John! You sometimes forget how many great songs he sung until you hear them. That was the case for me. Plus, Taron can actually sing. Is he Elton? No, of course not… but he is sounds close enough to Elton to enjoy the singing and the songs in the movie. Heck, even Matthew Illesley as young Elton does a good job. His acting may just be ok, but that kid can sing. Many in the supporting cast sing as well… and sing well.
The flow of the movie can be difficult as it is hard to tell what things happened and what things were movie-made. What things were more symbolic than actual? Now, since Elton had a hand in this movie I’m going to guess that most things actually happened, although some of them could be actual (or contrived) drug hallucinations (like the scene in the pool that’s in the trailers). The movie has songs all mixed up from a time perspective as many happen in the movie years before they did in real life but really… who cares about that? The important thing about the flow is that you pick up many of the hard times (some self-induced) that Elton went through and in that respect, this movie does it fantastically.
Taron didn’t just sing well, his acting was spot on. I’ve read others that say he should get Best Actor for his portrayl and I don’t know that I’d go that far… but it was really good. Actually, I’d like to see him be the next James Bond. I mean, why do they always get 45-55 year-olds to play that role? Why not some youth that can actually play it for a while? Okay, sorry for going down the rabbit hole. I’m back now.
The movie is pretty blunt about some things (drugs, sex, etc…) so if that bothers you, this may not be the movie for you as it definitely earns its “R” rating for that and some language. Elton has said that the studio wanted to temper down some things in order to have a PG-13 rating but Elton reportedly said that no because he, “hasn’t lived a rated PG-13 life”. Makes sense.
The trailer for this movie had a scene and line that violated my cardinal rule in that it wasn’t in the movie. I’m learning not to let that bother me as much as it did, but I’m not quite there yet as to me it borders on false advertising. One day I may get over it… or not.
If you are a fan of Elton John, this is a movie that you will want to see.