Fans of the classic rock outfit, Queen, no doubt, flocked to movie theaters to see Bohemian Rhapsody on Friday. If they missed it, they may be tempted to reconsider throwing down their hard-earned dollars to see the new Queen biopic after reading critic reviews.
But should they? Fan response has been overwhelmingly positive, despite critical consensus.
Movie critics are not receiving the film as well. James Berardinelli of ReelViews called Bohemian Rhapsody “meticulous” and gave the film 2.4 out of a possible five stars. He also remarked that the perceived mediocrity of the film was “unsurprising,” given controversies and “creative differences” surrounding the movie’s production.
“The problem with all this meticulous recreation is that, in the end, it rings hollow. After all, high quality recordings of the whole Live Aid performance are readily available and who wouldn’t rather watch the real Freddie Mercury as opposed to a talented mimic? For Queen fans, Bohemian Rhapsody offers enough of the band’s songs to accompany a strong dose of nostalgia. Others, however, may see this as little more than yet another story of a ’70s/’80s rock band that assembles, has success, breaks up, then gets back together again following the epiphany of a key member.”
He’s not the only critic who felt Bohemian Rhapsody was out of harmony with the true story of Queen. Rotten Tomatoes is currently reporting a decidedly underwhelming 59 percent for the movie, up some from last week, but still considered “rotten” by the website.
Many critics accuse the film of being disjointed and not worthy of representing a band as cemented in rock and roll history as Queen. IndieWire tweeted an especially negative take on Bohemian Rhapsody, declaring the movie to portray Freddie Mercury inaccurately.
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) November 3, 2018
On the other hand, fans seem to be telling a different story on Rotten Tomatoes.
While critics aren’t loving the movie, fans are glowing about it. The audience score sits at a rock-solid 94 percent. That said, as more reviews from critics and fans come in over the weekend, both of those scores are likely to change somewhat.
Twitter may have been full of movie critics pulling their hair out about Bohemian Rhapsody, but fans took to the social media platform to express love and support for the movie.
Saw Bohemian Rhapsody earlier today. Incredible movie. Freddie Mercury and Queen are legendary.
— Corbyn • WHY DON’T WE (@corbynbesson) November 2, 2018
It also appears to be pulling in good numbers at the box office, despite the initial reviews from critics.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 2, 2018
Originally, Borat actor Sacha Baron Cohen was set to play Freddie Mercury, but exited production citing the aforementioned “creative differences.” Stepping in to fill Cohen’s shoes was Rami Malek, who is one of the only aspects of the Bohemian Rhapsody garnering nearly-universal critical acclaim. Most critics feel he did the part great justice and was perfect for the role of Freddie Mercury.
With such underwhelming reviews, it seems Bohemian Rhapsody can step out of the conversation for Oscar buzz, but may still be considered a fan favorite and box office success after all.