Minutes after watching the movie “Elvis,” my wife and I noticed an elderly woman at the end of the row slumped over. Loved ones surrounded her, but none of them looked worried. As we got closer, we noticed the woman was in tears. She obviously enjoyed the new Elvis biopic. I looked at my wife Celina and asked, “Did we watch the same movie?” She replied, “This was more for *her generation.”
“Elvis” stars Austin Butler as the King of Rock ‘n Roll and Tom Hanks as his promoter, Colonel Tom Parker. The movie is about Elvis’ controversial rise to fame, his personal struggles, and the rollercoaster relationship he had with his manipulative promoter. I have forever said that Tom Hanks never makes a bad movie. Unfortunately, within 30 minutes I was tired of Hanks’ character.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie isn’t bad. It’s just not very good. Personal opinion: if a movie is going to be over 2 ½ hours long, it better be damn good. “Elvis” just wasn’t. Thinking about it, I can think of several musical biopics that are much better, such as “Walk the Line,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “La Bamba.”
I suppose I’m an Elvis fan. My parents took me to his Memphis home, Graceland, when I was in middle school. I remember touring his personal plane, the Lisa Marie. It’s a place I loved to visit again. Elvis died in 1977, the year I was born.
I was really looking forward to this movie. I enjoyed how the film made it clear that Elvis was almost entirely influenced by African American performers… to the point where he basically copied them.
The movie’s biggest question: how did Austin Butler do as The King of Rock ‘n Roll? I’ll break it down this way: Butler was fantastic as young Elvis and decent as the older, fat Elvis. I liked how the movie focused a lot on the entertainer’s fondness for blues music, gospel, and later the Civil Rights movement.
“Elvis” did not live up to the hype. At least for me, anyway. My wife liked the movie more than me, but she says Elvis’ music was constantly played in her home growing up. The movie is worth a watch… at matinee prices. I probably would have enjoyed it much more if I was older.
What do you think? Did you like the “Elvis” more than me? Reach out to me on Twitter @MikeESPNSA.