The movie about Freddie Mercury and the band Queen won't arrive for most of us for several weeks, but the movie has now screened for a select few. Considering how much people tend to like music in their movies, and how many people just love Queen, there are a lot of people who are likely very interested in hearing how good Bohemian Rhapsody actually is. Unfortunately, it's somewhat hard to tell, because the early responses are all over the place.
My biggest takeaway from Bohemian Rhapsody is how much the rest of Queen resents Freddie Mercury. But Rami Malek is outstanding. Also, the fact Mike Myers is in this movie is genius and insane.
Eric Kohn from Indiewire had a similar response to Uproxx. He was clearly unimpressed by Bohemian Rhapsody overall. Although, he does call out one specific scene in the movie that was apparently quite impressive, the recreation of Queen's famous Live Aid performance.
Bohemian Rhapsody: That Live Aid performance gave me chills. The rest of the movie...
This is not to say that everybody has mixed feelings about Bohemian Rhapsody. Legion of Leia's Jenna Busch is unequivocal in her love for the movie. She also specifically praises Rami Malek's performance but also says the movie tells a great story and works really well as a concert film, which will likely be what makes the movie really work for many Queen fans.
Absolutely beyond blown away by Bohemian Rhapsody! Rami Malek is phenomenal. Gorgeous story, amazing concert movie...I don't have enough words!
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the New York Times, who gives Bohemian Rhapsody one if its harshest responses. While Kyle Buchanan still has good things to say about Rami Malek, he's not quite as complimentary as he appears, and the rest of the movie comes off even worse.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a glorified Wikipedia entry but Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury (and wears his wonderful costumes) with incredible gusto
Claiming that Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury "with gusto" isn't the same as saying he plays him well. It may mean that the actor gave the role his all, but it doesn't mean that the end result is necessarily successful.
In the end, the most accurate response to Bohemian Rhapsody may have come from Indiewire's Anne Thompson, who has correctly predicted that this film is going to get mixed reviews.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a straight-on biopic with plenty of Queen music and a strong performance by Rami Malek. It will get mixed reviews. It might play with audiences.
If the first batch of responses is true, then mixed reviews may very well be incoming. Of course, that doesn't mean the movie won't be a hit. Between the generally well regarded lead performance and what seems to be generally regarded appreciation for the use of Queen's music, we could still very well see the movie draw in huge audiences.