D: Dexter Fletcher

Paramount/New Republic/Marv (Adam Bohling, David Furnish, David Reid & Matthew Vaughn)

UK/US 2019

121 mins


W: Lee Hall

DP: George Richmond

Ed: Chris Dickens

Mus: Matthew Margeson

PD: Peter Francis & Marcus Rolland

Cos: Julian Day

Taron Egerton (Reginald Dwight / Elton John), Jamie Bell (Bernie Taupin), Richard Madden (John Reid), Bryce Dallas Howard (Sheila Eileen), Stephen Graham (Dick James), Gemma Jones (Ivy)

Rocketman is a musical fantasia based on the career, life and songs of Elton John. It is not a biopic.

Like Bohemian Rhapsody the year before (also co-directed by an uncredited Dexter Fletcher), it follows a similar path charting a music legends rise to success, playing fast and loose with facts and using a collection of greatest hits to serve the narrative rather than the chronological order of events.

It has to be said that Taron Egerton is excellent as Elton John, expertly mimicking his quirks, mannerisms and not doing a bad job with the singing. 

The film begins with the showman, still clad in his extroverted concert outfit, angrily entering a support group where he bares his demons and divulges his life story, from the roots at his family home in Pinner, London and awkward relationship to his parents, to his collaboration with Bernie Taupin and subsequent success, as well as his debauched lifestyle in the mid-1970's, where alcohol and drug addiction could have taken his life on a much more different path.

Again, like Bohemian Rhapsody, the film doesn't really get beneath the skin of the star attraction quite as much as you may like it to, but it doesn't really have to. It's a celebration of the man's music and like a visual jukebox, it goes through his catalogue of hits with some panache and style. 

For fans of the singer and his works, it will hit the right keys. You just need to remember that it isn't a stereotypical biopic.


Taron Egerton in Rocketman
Taron Egerton in Rocketman