Elvis ★★½

imagine a standard, shallow, walk hard-esque elvis biopic, but from the point of view of a tom hanks snl character and directed by someone on both lsd and cocaine. certain moments and sequences in this are absolutely stunning. totally hyper and utterly unwieldy in its visual stylings that it can almost be hard to keep up with. at a certain point, as exciting as it often was, it became numbing and exhausting. then, at other times, it feels like a rote biopic. the more controversial aspects of elvis’s life are (expectedly) glossed over, and the ending wraps up with the requisite real footage and text on screen that you’d expect. as much as I enjoyed a lot of the visual freneticism, it also ensures that any meaningful looks into elvis’s cultural impact are quickly glanced at and not explored in any nuanced fashion.

austin butler is absolutely perfect. his impression is incredible. his presence is captivating. totally lived up to the hype. then… we get to tom hanks. who made some CHOICES. one of the funniest and most baffling performances i’ve seen in a long time. he dons a bizarre, almost german/dutch (?) accent and fat suit as he stumbles around trying to keep elvis family-friendly and taking his money. when this opened with an old tom hanks walking around an empty casino playing slot machines and monologuing about how he made elvis famous, as we montage and overlay through elvis footage and hanks’s fat chin prosthetic in impossible depths of field, I knew I was in for something else. I have no idea what the fuck hanks was going for in this but it was enthralling and cracked me up often. this was certainly something. i’m almost totally 50/50 on what worked for me and what didn’t, but it’s a swing, and i’ll take something chaotic and ridiculous like this over soulless garbage like bohemian rhapsody any day

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