On the heels of the worldwide box office phenomenon known as Bohemian Rhapsody comes another tribute to a popular music icon who rose to fame in the ‘70s and loved to don a glittery get-up: Rocketman. Taron Egerton stars as Elton John in a biopic/musical framed around his breakthrough years.
Ahead of its theatrical release in a couple weeks, Rocketman has now premiered at Cannes Film Festival in France to a standing ovation from the crowd. That’s certainly a good sign! But did it lift off and soar in critics' eyes? Let’s take a look at some of the first reactions about the fantasy musical.
CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell is now in London doing interviews for Rocketman. Before that, he had a chance to see the movie and shared his rave review:
That's a great start! Rebecca Keegan of The Hollywood Reporter sounds like she was absolutely floored by the film. Take a look:
Along with loving Taron Egerton’s iteration of the music sensation, she praised it for the “I’m Still Standing” message. The actor worked closely with the Elton John himself, even having to sing and act with John in front of him, which he understandably found to be extremely intimidating. The iconic musician has been quite supportive of Egerton though.
Not everyone was completely convinced by Egerton’s performance though. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw felt he didn’t quite hit every note with these words:
When it comes to the dramatic aspects of Rocketman, Bradshaw didn’t feel like he sold it. Conversely, Stuart Oldham of Variety specifically pointed out the more somber moments of the film hitting a high for him. Here’s what he said:
Elton John’s husband of 26 years, John Furnish, recently watched the flick and said his personal struggles at the beginning of his career and prior to their life together made him want to give John a hug. Considering some of these reactions, as an audience we may collectively be feeling the same way as the film discusses his stint in rehab and sexual identity.
A couple months ago, there were rumors that Paramount had cut a “nude cuddle” between Taron Egerton’s Elton and Richard Madden’s John Reid due to the studio pulling back on the film’s adult content. This reaction from NY Times’ Kyle Buchanan indicates Rocketman does not steer away from portraying his sexuality. In his words:
One primary criticism of last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody was the way it shied away from completely exploring Mercury’s relationships with men – Rocketman won’t be making that mistake. Richard Madden’s role is also gaining recognition as well. Here’s what Anne Thompson of IndieWire had to say:
Comparisons to the Queen biopic just keep coming up! In addition to the film sharing a bit of the same subject matter and Dexter Fletcher being involved as director in both, it also includes one of the same villains. To round out the reactions, check out Ramin Setoodeh’s thoughts:
It looks like the movie is a lot more musical than biopic, but it still works better than the Queen film in his opinion. The Variety bureau chief also caught a sweet video of Taron Egerton’s own reaction upon seeing the film and watching the audience’s reaction at Cannes. Take a look:
The actor looks both happy and overwhelmed at his Rocketman debut! The 29-year-old actor is still fairly new to the industry and still best known for his Kingsman role. After the premiere, he and Elton John took to the stage to perform the song “Rocketman” together, captured by The Hollywood Reporter:
Wow! The actor has found a duet partner in Elton John before when they sang “Tiny Dancer” at an Oscars party in February. The pair look energized by the film’s screening in this performance. It was no doubt an emotional day for the both of them seeing their work on the film (and for John, quite literally his life’s work) finally premiere.
Rocketman hits theaters on May 31 and is expected to open at around $20 million during its first weekend as Godzilla: King of the Monsters presumably tops the musical.
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