Mercury Rising | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Mercury Rising

La Vie Boheme

Mercury Rising
Courtesy of FOX
He is here to chew gum and rock you—and he's all out of gum.

There are different kinds of secrets in Hollywood. Some have been kept close to the vest and will probably never see the light of day until decades from now...if ever. Others are "secrets" that are well known in the film industry, yet no one talks about because of the balances of power. People knew for years that Bill Cosby was drugging and assaulting women, yet it took a single joke from Hannibal Buress to get the media to start paying attention.

The same is true for Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Bryan Singer. All of these men have been known for their actions in certain circles—but it took the combined might of the #metoo movement and the Weinstein Effect to bring some of the accusations to light. Back in 2014, lawsuits were brought against Singer and his friends, accusing him of drugging and raping underage boys.

When the sex scandal against Weinstein came to light, Singer's past came to light and halfway through shooting "Bohemian Rhapsody," production was halted for Singer's unexpected unavailability. Sources said Singer was clashing with star Rami Malek, but it was mostly seen as an excuse to take his name off of a movie that the studio didn't want tainted by Singer's involvement. He was replaced by Dexter Fletcher, the director of "Eddie the Eagle."

I had forgotten all of that when I sat down to watch the highly anticipated Freddie Mercury biopic, "Bohemian Rhapsody." When Singer's name came up as the sole director, I almost walked out of the theater. I don't want to support Singer in anything he's involved with...even if that includes more "X-Men" movies.

I know this isn't much of a review for "Bohemian Rhapsody," but you know what you're getting if you go. Small band makes big, everyone is a family, drugs and sex get involved, everybody in Queen gets mad at Freddie and it all builds toward a music-filled triumph at 1985's "Live Aid." It follows the biopic blueprint to the letter and is only elevated by the music of Queen and the stunning high wire performance of "Mr. Robot's' Rami Malek as Mercury.

As entertaining as the movie is, I can't recommend supporting something made by Bryan Singer. It's no different than Spacey getting removed from "House of Cards" or Louie C.K.'s new movie getting pulled from its release date. The #Metoo movement is important and has been handled well for the most part, but Singer is trying to slip between the cracks. As moviegoers we shouldn't allow him the satisfaction.

Bohemian Rhapsody
Dir. Bryan Singer
Grade: C
Old Mill Stadium 16, Sisters Movie House, Redmond Cinema

Jared Rasic

Film critic and author of food, arts and culture stories for the Source Weekly since 2010.
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