Thursday, June 23, 2022

Elvis Movie Review

Aaron Butler stars in Elvis

Taking Care of Business

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: The film explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (Austin Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks.) The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley's rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis's life, Priscilla Presley (Olivia DeJonge.) Directed by Baz Luhrmann.

Starring: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Olivia DeJonge, Luke Bracey, Natasha Bassett, David Wenham, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Xavier Samuel, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

What's Good: After a (painfully) slow start, Butler goes from "I'm tired of playing Elvis Presley" to literally becoming the "King of Rock ’n‘ Roll." Clad in black leather and glamorous sequins, Butler acts, looks and even sings the part better than any Elvis impersonator (two-bit or otherwise.) His performance single-handedly rescues the movie from Luhrmann's early missteps and quite possibly the worst turn of Hanks' career.

What's Not: Hanks' "snowman" is annoying, comical and distracting. The movie unravels through his point-of-view, showcasing the Colonel as more of a "sideshow" than Elvis himself. Bad idea.

Budget: $85 million

Runtime: 159 minutes (17 minutes longer than The Great Gatsby, but feels more like an hour.)

Target Audience: Elvis, Baz Luhrmann fans.

Bottom Line: I (seriously) considered walking out after the first hour, but once Elvis put on a few pounds/years, Luhrmann's vision started to make (better) sense. It's still way too long, but the second half is must-see entertainment... and I don't say that very often.

Grade: B-