I’ve always appreciated the music of Elton John and consider several of his songs all-time classics. Following on from Bohemian Rhapsody this similarly tells the life story of one of the UK’s most iconic stars, this time with less of a tragic ending.
Told in a surreal musical style that takes those famous songs and matches them with key events in Elton’s life… this has Taron Egerton on amazing form, delivering all the nuance, emotion and flamboyance of the man himself whilst also singing all the songs as well. The musical approach is done very well even if at times I wished certain favourites were just delivered normally instead of other cast members stealing certain parts as way of delivering the story. Jamie Bell is very good as Elton’s writing partner Bernie, although Bryce Dallas Howard proves a bit forgettable as Elton’s disapproving mother.
The focus here is mostly Elton’s struggle to be accepted by his parents or find love. It’s occasionally a little overly stylish, and despite showcasing many famous songs, the omission of Candle In The Wind is puzzling. Yet this still delivers an occasionally moving, often eye-opening story with some seriously feel good moments, aided by a killer soundtrack.
Sam Worthington is steadily becoming the go-to actor for big budget event pictures with a quality list of titles behind him including Avatar, Terminator Salvation and to a lesser extent Clash Of The Titans. So I was happy to see him in something a (little) more down to earth, even if for the duration he’s stuck on a ledge looking down over Manhattan. You see, he plays a wrongly convicted escaped felon hell-bent on proving his innocence, and a female negotiator with a few of her own problems is on hand to help … if she chooses to believe his story.
This is a fairly decent concept, borrowing it seems from similar one location scenarios like Phone Booth. Yet here as revealed in the trailer something else is afoot and the ledge thing is more a decoy to take attention off a diamond heist happening in the building across the street. Co-starring the gorgeous Elizabeth Banks (30 Rock) as well as Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot), this is thrilling and enjoyable. It lacks a bit of credibility in its diamond heist plot device and supporting actors including a grimacing Ed Harris are fairly clichéd. Also the back story leading up to why Worthington goes to such lengths to prove his innocence and just how he got set up are poorly explored, and towards the end it does get very far-fetched.
The performances are solid however and the film looks stylish and does crack along at a good enough pace to mean I never checked my watch. For such a concept though, this should have been a lot smarter than it actually turned out to be.
In an age where concept is king, then as far as the idea thrown on the table is concerned, Jumper presses the big red button. You see, Star Wars’ Hayden Christensen (proving himself a credible action hero) plays a kid who after a near-death experience discovers he can teleport himself to anywhere in the world, in just a blink of an eye. Now that’s a talent, and at first it’s his key out of a crappy life where the girl at school hardly notices him (The OC’s Rachel Bilson), and he comes home every night to a drunken father who just yells at him, after the Mother walked out on them years previously.
Before long though, his new found life and riches (he’s become the ‘perfect’ bank robber), is interrupted by Samuel L. Jackson’s shady Government agent, who seems to know all about him. What follows is a very unique action adventure as this kid struggles to make sense of his abilities whilst running for his life. Hence some stunning action sequences that really knock you out of your seat. A worthy mention must also go to Jamie Bell’s vigilante who has the same skills as Hayden, and pretty much steals the movie.
Director Doug Liman, honing his talents on Bourne Identity and Mr & Mrs Smith once again delivers a unique, gritty spin on the action movie and brings to the screen what I think the Matrix sequels should have delivered a few years earlier. Roll on whatever this director comes up with next!
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