Cert 15 121mins Stars 4
Taron Egerton launches his inner diva into the spotlight with a wonderfully versatile performance as Elton John, in this redemptive musical biopic of the singers stellar career.
Charting his rise from suburban schoolboy to global superstar, we sees the tears behind the tantrums as Elton struggles with a lack of self-worth which results in a multitude of self-destructive addictions including, drugs, booze, sex and shopping.
Packed with greatest hits such as Crocodile Rock, and Your Song, it’s an orgy of clothes,, cars, mansions, and um, orgies, though unlike the outrageous costumes, the intimate sex scenes are tasteful, sincere and won’t scare the horses.
I’ve never been a fan of Kingsman star Egerton, though I did enjoy his turn as a singing gorilla in 2016’s animated caper, Sing.
But no there’s no denying the range, commitment and all round excellence of his performance as the Pinball Wizard, particularly his ability to transition in a moment from from heartbroken heap to grandstanding onstage star.
He makes Elton a magnificently flawed, petulant, often unpleasant figure who wins our sympathy through his honesty and eventual willingness to confront his demons. And the actors playing the childhood Elton are also terrific.
Jamie Bell plays Elton’s lyricist, Bernie Taupin and their bromance is the beating heart of the movie.
As Elton’s abusive manager, Richard ‘Bodyguard’ Madden is a compellingly sharklike, and Bryce Dallas Howard is breathtakingly cold as Elton’s mother.
From playing as Babyface in kiddie caper, Bugsy Malone, to making The Proclaimers jukebox musical, Sunshine on Leith, and taking up the reins on last years smash, Bohemian Rhapsody, director Dexter Fletcher is a veteran of big screen musicals.
His dynamic and slickly choreographed numbers full of visually inventive flights of fancy reveal his empathy for Elton and is clearly a huge fan of the Rocketman. And so will you be after this.