I am a little late getting to this review, as I know many of you have seen the film, but I did make it down to the Reading Cinema in Murrieta to see the film finally...
I have to mention the venue first: The Reading Cinema in Murrieta is a GREAT place to go see a movie. Easy to get to, easy to park, and once you are inside, fantastic food and drink amenities....and of course those super comfy recliners!
The center piece of the movie is of course the music....but if you are thinking this is another docu-drama like Bohemian Rhapsody it is not. That movie was about the movie...this movie IS the music. This is a musical with the songs sung through the various stages of Elton John's life and those around him during that experience. Don't expect this to be a chronological order of either story telling or the music....The music fits the film...not the other way around...with surprising accuracy of lyrics.
To me the best part of the movie is the life long platonic love affair between Elton and Bernie Taupin. If real life has been anything close to this film, there's is a friendship / collaboration for the ages.
Special credit goes to the movie's star Taron Egerton. It's a tall order to fill Elton's shoes (and many pairs of glasses) but even when the movie itself seems to go a bit over the top, Egerton doesn't shy away for a moment of playing the title character to it's fullest.
I mentioned "over the top"... the story is glamorous and spectacular and visually stunning at times....but the real fact is, there is just a little too much of a good thing. The tugs on the heart strings were so frequent, that by the end of the movie, they weren't so moving as when you started that tub of popcorn.
If you are a hardcore Elton John fan, that won't matter...but if you are just going to see the movie and story...you might feel like the story was a bit over-told by the end. We get the "rock excess leads to emotional downfall" bit and it's repeated focus is one of the few actual distraction from how good the overall movie is.
If you are an Elton John die hard fan...this movie is a MUST SEE. You will love it and how the music was used. If you aren't a die hard Elton fan, I would still recommend the movie. Even with it's flaws, it's absolutely fun to watch.