Rated 3.0

Dexter Fletcher, the very same director who helped take a shit on Freddie Mercury’s legacy with the dumpster fire that was last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody (He finished the job after Bryan Singer was fired.) fares much better with this celebration of Elton John. The movie tells John’s story through musical numbers and fantasy sequences and, as it turns out, it’s a good approach to the life of Elton John. John is played by Taron Egerton (who starred alongside John in the wonderfully weird Kingsman: The Golden Circle), and there will be no lip-synching here, thank you very much. Egerton confidently sings John’s tunes, including “Tiny Dancer,” the title track and, unfortunately, “I’m Still Standing.” Jamie Bell plays John’s writing partner, Bernie Taupin, and the movie works as a nice testament to their contributions to rock’s legacy. Egerton goes full blown rock star in this movie, which features some nice, artistically exaggerated recreations of key moments in John’s history. The results are a lot of fun, even when some slight miscasting (Bryce Dallas Howard as John’s mom!) don’t quite work out. It’s not a perfect movie, but it’s a bold and interesting approach to a rock biopic that has more in common with Across the Universe than Bohemian Rhapsody.