starring Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Mike Myers
screenplay by Anthony McCarten
directed by Bryan Singer
by Walter Chaw There's a real tragedy behind Bohemian Rhapsody, Bryan Singer's formula biopic of Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) and Queen, and it's not Mercury's rise and fall and rise and fall and posthumous rise. No, it's that a life lived as rebuke to boxed-in functionality is now boxed into a functional, easy-to-parse package. Not the first person to say it but the only good version of this movie is Walk Hard, and there's never been a bad version of this movie, not really. It's oatmeal. It's always okay. I genuinely love Singer's X-Men films. Superman Returns is a masterpiece. There was a time when the idea of Singer doing this would've promised a keen, incisive coming-out melodrama, but even that's been neutered by Singer's defensive posturing against real-life, possibly criminal ugliness and its looming threat of legal repercussions. His well-publicized dismissal from the project in its eleventh hour is the most Mercury moment of the whole thing and it happened behind the scenes. When the most interesting scene in Bohemian Rhapsody is a contentious press conference where Mercury's sexuality is attacked as the movie warps and stutters around him, you get the sense of the On The Waterfront apologia that almost was rather than the sop to popular taste this is.