McCann At The Movies: A Highly Entertaining Biopic Of A Musical Icon

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John McCann says ‘Rocketman’ is a magnificent celebration of a musical genius…

FRESH from steering Bohemian Rhapsody to shore following Bryan Singers removal, director Dexter Fletcher takes on another icon of the music industry Elton John in the subject of this week’s movie review, Rocketman, currently showing at Tralee Omniplex.

Fletcher, no stranger to musical biopics or indeed the musical genre, as other than his fine work on Bohemian Rhapsody, he was also behind the criminally underrated ‘Sunshine on Leith’, which was the a musical based on the songs of Scottish duo The Proclaimers.

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This time around however, the director was under a lot more pressure to produce a film of real quality and to pay tribute to one of popular music’s real iconic figures in Elton John and thankfully here, he does just that!

Rocketman is an epic musical fantasy about the incredible human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years following the fantastical journey of transformation from shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton John.

Taron Egerton as Elton John.

This inspirational story — set to Elton John’s most beloved songs and performed by star Taron Egerton — tells the universally relatable story of how a small-town boy became one of the most iconic figures in pop culture.

When you have such a back catalogue of quality tunes (and Rocketman really reminds its audience of what an exceptional song writer Elton John really was) it’s half the battle in the attempt to produce a movie of real quality.

The other half is proper casting and in Taron Egerton as Elton John, Dexter Fletcher has really struck gold in his leading man.

Lending raw emotion, true conviction and amazing vocals it’s hard to imagine any one else playing the iconic musician’s role with such purpose.

The film’s seamless meandering into Elton John’s most popular songs is also a wonderful trick with some excellent choreographed and emotionally rich scenes running through the film (the first time “Your Song” is played is a scene that stands out in particular).

As superb as this film is, there are some pitfalls which prevent it from hitting that top bracket of quality however.

It does at times seem to be a bit of a vanity project for Elton, with a rather biased view of history on his part and some of the supporting cast do let the side down at times (Jamie Bell’s Bernie Taupin is not his best performance by any means!).

That said, Rocketman should be enjoyed for what it is, a magnificent celebration of a musical genius from humble beginnings whose songs have become a large part of modern culture and deserve the big screen treatment to entertain fans all over again!


• For more of John McCann’s movie reviews, check out his Facebook page here and website here

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