josh lewis’s review published on Letterboxd:
maybe movies were a mistake. one of the most astonishing, eccentric performers of all time and this is the insipid, formulaic garbage you give him? any interest in the nuances and artistry of queen takes a backseat to making their lives and works fit into a Greatest Hits rise and fall biopic; watch as a painfully self-conscious performance stumbles through a barely dramatized wikipedia overview in between montages of songs you like being simplified into little digestible, lowest-common-denominator origin stories everyone can pat themselves on the back for knowing. are we so far removed from Walk Hard that people once again buy these clichés that were tired even before the mid-2000s? we're talking about a movie that opens on the "cough = terminally ill" bit in the first 10 seconds of its runtime, and what follows is the kind of smarmy, winking writing that results in the horrifying decision to orchestrate a melodramatic push-in on mike myers' studio exec just as he says "queen will never be played on the radio!!" and, even worse, to cynically telegraph freddie's AIDS [insert spooky, disembodied "~contracting something~" here] years before he even knew just in case you forgot where this was headed. im sure its placement directly after a montage of him writing/performing Another One Bits the Dust while strolling through a sea of leather daddies has zero implications too. also i'm sorry but that live aid concert recreation that people wouldn't shut up about looks ghastly and malek's dubbing in it is completely unconvincing. also also to just cut from live aid to "and then he died" (like some real "note: poochie died on the way back to his home planet" shit) ignoring the fact that he made four more fucking albums and even shot a music video just months before his death is so disrespectful to him as an artist and a person. especially if you're going to include the line "i'm not going to be their AIDS poster child", like come the fuck on. just absolute garbage through and through, everyone involved should be ashamed.