Excerpt: Fortunately for all involved, Malek, working with a script that is more a series of standard tropes than compelling story, presents the right mix of outrageous ego, savage wit, languid ennui, and vulnerable insecurity that makes him empathetic even Mercury is being a jerk.
Excerpt: For a lot of the two hour and 14 minute runtime, I was either baffled by the painfully generic storytelling, disappointed by the lack of insight, or angry at the blatant lies and manipulation by the filmmakers. There is not a single genuine, human, or sincere moment in the entire film.
Excerpt: Rami Malek brings warmth, humor, and a down-to-earth humanity to the larger-than-life Freddie Mercury. But it is the power of Queen’s music — the rousing good cheer, its sheer rock ’n’ roll joy — that fills up this pure brash entertainment.
Excerpt: “Bohemian Rhapsody” might not be the final word on Freddie Mercury, as it could have taken a deeper dive into certain aspects of Freddie’s life, but as a rousing greatest-hits catalogue and a showy, star-making showcase for Rami Malek, it leaves one on an energized note.
Excerpt: The filmmakers are too interested in providing a good time to deliver a great movie. And by making Mercury’s identity issues a band detail instead of his own defining feature, it might even be a bad one.
Excerpt: Bohemian Rhapsody is a massively disappointing film that wastes an opportunity to do anything more than find excuses to play Queen songs in between the incredibly flat and by-the-numbers portrayal of Queen’s rise to fame and Freddie’s personal life.
Excerpt: Bohemian Rhapsody seems to be targeted toward people whose only Queen album in their record collection is the 1991 “Absolute Greatest” compilation, and the generations of earbud-wearing iTunes youngsters who might’ve heard a song with some guys singing “WE WILL, WE WILL ROCK YOU!” being repeated over a stomp-stomp-CLAP beat at a hockey game.
Excerpt: I wasn’t prepared to be impacted by this rock bio — but from the beginning, as wiry Freddie Mercury walks out on stage with his band, Queen, and sings, “Can anybody find me somebody to love?,” his four-octave vocal range, his energy, his physicality and his sheer talent hypnotize.
Excerpt: What should and, frankly, deserved to be a line-blurring and envelope-pushing affair of affairs is, to borrow a pair of friends’ terms, “straight-washed” into something “puritanical” instead of free, open, and, most of all, potent.