Elvis ★★★★★

An expansive and vibrant three-act musical-rock-and-roll that details the life and abuse of Elvia Presley. Elvis in IMAX is an experience unlike any other. In a genius move, Luhrmann establishes Colonel Tom Parker as the unreliable narrator who is introduced as this ghoulish zombie wandering through memory lane and the Infinite rows of slot machines. What comes after this perfect introduction is extravaganza that is edited by a god, directed by an actual madmen, and acted by a superstar-in-the-making. I am floored by Elvis. It is a biopic through and through, yet it reads like the most anarchic Hollywood production in years. Luhrmann knows he has access to an infinite amount of tools and toys, and guess what? He uses them all with glamour and pizzazz. Austin Butler gives a superstar performance, as electric as anyone trying to become Elvis Presley can be. Tom Hanks plays a literal devil, having fun with the role and crafting an accent that is so outlandish. One would’ve thought he was an alien! Anyhow, I loved the structure. Luhrmann crafts a story in three definitive acts, each one so specific and individual, yet all coalesce in telling one story, one of Elvis’ ginormous talent that was held back by Parker, a devil in disguise. The “Suspicious Minds” scene is insanely great, The Hayride sequence is at once hilarious and perfect in establishing the fandom’s insanity, and the ending with “Unchained Melody” is melancholic and tragic. It was always how I saw Elvis Presley: a man who, despite his issues and hardships, always did his all for the people. The ultimate entertainer.

Elvis has left the building.

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