Isn't it a little late in the game to be building a whole movie around Elvis' kitschy appeal? Late Elvis, of course, with the sideburns and the sunglasses and the jumpsuit and the cape. 3000 Miles to Graceland
Russell, who finally turned his back on all those Disney movies by nailing Presley to the wall in the 1979 telepic Elvis, is allowed to shake, rattle and roll his pelvis during the end credits, leaving us to marvel over what might have been. But director Demian Lichtenstein, who also co-wrote the script, doesn't appear to be a true believer, or even a true nonbeliever. Instead, he just slaps the Elvis paraphernalia on the screen, like fake tattoos. And he's gone with a heavy metal/industrial/techno-ish soundtrack that sounds like it was surgically removed from some Simpson-Bruckheimer rock-'em-sock-'em flick. Instead of Jailhouse Rock, we get...The Rock.
Most heist movies give equal time to the planning, execution and aftermath. Graceland skips the planning, glosses over the execution'another hailstorm of bullets'and gets maybe a C-minus in aftermathematics. Luckily, Courteney Cox shows up as a single mom who, if you aren't careful, will take everything you've got. The plotline involving Cox and Russell, which seems lifted from Sam Peckinpah's The Getaway, is one of the few things Graceland has going for it. And David Kaye, as a kid headed straight to prison someday, gives the movie some much-needed heart. As for Costner, he's playing a guy who's very, very bad, and he's playing him very, very badly.