"Taron Egerton is Elton John," say the billboards for "Rocketman," and that's not hyperbole. Egerton's electric performance as the famed rock star drives this jukebox musical, which imaginatively uses John's rich trove of songs to tell his story, in a way that produces some genuinely beautiful moments but also at times dilutes the drama.
Although "Rocketman" (which can thank Donald Trump's Kim Jong Un nickname for extra promotion) will evoke inevitable comparisons to "Bohemian Rhapsody" -- basically charting the rise to fame, coming to grips with being gay in the 1970s, and rock-star-sized problems -- it's a very different construct, and not merely because it leans more unflinchingly into that material. (To his credit, John balked at toning down the sex and drugs that go with the rock 'n roll.)
As opposed to a conventional biography, the movie uses John's songs to tell the story, bursting into wildly choreographed sequences to illustrate the mood and situations in which he finds himself.