Starring: Austin Butler, Tom Hanks, Helen Thomson, Richard Roxburgh, Olivia DeJonge, Luke Bracey, Dacre Montgomery, Natasha Bassett, David Wenham, and Kelvin Harrison Jr.
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Certainly the most audacious film released in 2022 so far, the ambitions of Elvis are something the movie itself can’t hope to match. Overly long yet somehow moving at the speed of sound, the brazenness of it is truly something to behold. Director/co-writer Baz Luhrmann throws so much at the wall that some of it can’t help but stick due to sheer volume, and Austin Butler’s genuinely great performance as the King of Rock and Roll is the glue holding up whatever sticks. Though it’s no worse than most other biopics of its kind, its frenzied editing and flashiness will leave you exhausted.
Despite hitting many of the familiar biopic story beats, Elvis is anything but typical. Director Baz Luhrmann’s panache manages to make the usual tropes feel refreshing while also threatening to derail the whole enterprise. However, Austin Butler, who gives such an electric performance that it feels like the closest this Elvis fan will ever get to experiencing the energy of a live performance from The King, holds it all together. Admittedly, the movie is a tad long and, overall, more tragic than rousing, but I walked away with a better understanding of the man behind the legend. What more could you want from a biopic?
I thought Elvis was bad. Not awful, but bad. Yes, Austin Butler is incredible in what is genuinely a star-making performance, and the concert scenes can be pretty great; However, I can’t tell if that’s credit to Butler or director/co-writer Baz Luhrmann. As a film, it’s generally well made. Unfortunately, Luhrmann’s signature style doesn’t mesh with this standard biopic story, while Tom Hanks is miscast and ultimately distracting. Plus, it’s... Just. So. Long. I felt every second of the runtime because the movie is all over the place and extremely unfocused. It’s yet another standard musical biopic that I’ll never see again.