Movie Review: ‘Elvis’

It’s been a fair few years since Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Romeo & Juliet) released his last movie, but the director is back with a roller-coaster ride of a film – exploring the life and career of rock ‘n roll legend Elvis Presley. While Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis can feel a little chaotic and messy at times, there’s no denying that the filmmaker has crafted an electric and tragic cautionary tale – featuring one of the most impressive and memorable performances in recent years.

From his rise to fame to his unprecedented superstardom, rock ‘n’ roll icon Elvis Presley maintains a complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker, over the course of 20 years. Central to Presley’s journey and happiness is one of the most influential people in his life — Priscilla.

The biopic explores the major moments in the rock ‘n roll legends life and career, from his early years as an ambitious singer to his final moments as a tormented, drug-addicted icon. Luhrmann injects a crazy amount of energy and excitement into the film, jumping from one thrilling scene to the next without delving too deep into any of them. The speed at which Luhrmann pushes the film forward can be overwhelming at times, especially for those who aren’t familiar with the directors previous work. When the film lines up with the filmmakers style and hits the necessary notes, however, it’s nothing short of extraordinary.

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Austin Butler might not be a household name, but it’s certainly one that audiences will remember walking out of Elvis. When it comes to musical biopics, there’s no tougher icon to tackle than the king of rock ‘n roll, but Butler makes it look easy. The young actor steps into the kings shoes with absolute ease, delivering a spectacular performance that will undoubtedly catapult him to the Oscars. Tom Hanks offers an unexpectedly peculiar and over-the-top performance as Captain Tom Parker. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the role was miscast, but I’d happily bet that Hanks’ creative choices will divide the audience.

With a career-defining performance from Austin Butler, electric direction from Baz Luhrmann, and one of the greatest true stories ever put on screen, Elvis is an absolute triumph. Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis beautifully pays tribute to the man behind the legend, while delivering a thrilling, shocking and tragic ride for audiences.

Rating: 4.5/5

About Elvis

Director: Baz Luhrmann

Cast: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Olivia DeJonge

Plot: From his rise to fame to his unprecedented superstardom, rock ‘n’ roll icon Elvis Presley maintains a complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker, over the course of 20 years. Central to Presley’s journey and happiness is one of the most influential people in his life — Priscilla.

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