The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, is dead. At least at the moviesthanks to the terrible new action flick 3000 Miles To Graceland. Anexcessive, violent, loud and stupid beyond belief movie that will appealonly to those fresh from a lobotomy, 3000 Miles To Graceland is theBattlefield Earth of the action genre.
The plot centers around two ex-convicts, the vicious Murphy (Kevin Costner)and the somewhat more benign Michael (Kurt Russell). Along with a gang ofthree other guys (Christian Slater, Bokeem Woodbine and David Arquette), thetwo plan on robbing a Las Vegas casino during an Elvis Impersonatorconvention. Dressed as Elvis Impersonators, they carry off the robbery, butnot before piling up about several hundred (and one Elvis Impersonatormidget!) cops and innocent people during their escape.
Afterwards, there issome arguing about dividing up the loot, which is just the thing Murphyneeds to knock everyone off and keep the loot for him. But, Michaelsurvives, and with a mother (Courtney Cox-Arquette) and her son(David Kaye) in tow, Michael races off up north to launder the money beforeMurphy can catch up to him.
The above paragraph sums up both the plot of the movie, and the film’s firstthirty minutes. For the next one hour and forty minutes, we get a loud,long, ridiculous chase movie that is about as exciting as two people chasingeach other cross country on mopeds. Director Demian Lichtenstein, anothermusic video moron turned “filmmaker”, thinks that excess is intensity.
Wrong. Demian, turning up the volume, editing each scene so they don’t lastlonger than five to ten seconds and using every annoying camera trick in thebook doesn’t make you the heir to the Oliver Stone/Quentin Tarantino throne.It just shows that you have no idea how to make a movie of your own, justcopy others and slap your name on it.
As for Lichtenstein’s screenwriting talents (he co-wrote the film withRichard Recco), they suck just as much. Every character is odious andclichd (I kept hoping that Murphy would knock off that obnoxious kid, justso we wouldn’t have to listen to him anymore), the situations areridiculous, the Elvis concept is woefully underused, it’s incrediblymisogynistic and the humour to offset the rampant violence (which makesHannibal tame in comparison) is about as funny as a tax audit. If these arethe type of screenplays making it to the big screen these days, I say bringon the strike!
I wish I could say that I felt sorry for Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner, butafter all, they did get paid to make this. No one forced them to star in it(As a matter of fact, each of them did take their best shot at editing thismovie. God only knows whose cut this is.). Russell, who made for a damn fineKing Of Rock and Roll in the 1979 television film Elvis, looks lost here.
Costner hams it up, but to no avail (one positive note: he didn’t attempt anaccent here.). Courtney Cox, completely miscast here, looked like shediscovered eating since her last screen appearance (in last year’s Scream3). As for Slater, Arquette and Woodbine (as the other members of therobbery gang), their screen time is so limited that if you blink, you mightmiss them.
3000 Miles To Graceland is a film that should have been quietly put on theshelf at Warner Brothers and left to collect dust. This is the type of crapthat usually comes out the week after Labor Day when no one goes to themovies, so the loud thud it would create wouldn’t be noticed too much. Elvishas left the building, and he took any chances this piece of garbage had ofbeing viewable with him.