Reviews and ratings: 70 %
Biographical / Drama / Musical, USA / Australia, 2022, 159min. The life of American music icon Elvis Presley, from his childhood to becoming a rock and movie star in the 1950s while maintaining a complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker
- Great actor performances
- Believable presentation of Elvis
- Brash, loud, maximalist and never boring
- Your eyes are drawn to the spectacle and glitz, but underneath there is really nothing of substance to latch onto
- Style over substance
“Elvis” certainly works as a jukebox, and it does deliver exactly what you’d expect from a Luhrmann movie. But it never gets close to Presley; it never deals with the knotty man inside the jumpsuit; it never grapples with the complications in his legacy. It’s overstuffed, bloated, and succumbs to trite biopic decisions. Luhrmann always puts Butler in the best position to succeed until the credits, whereby he cuts to archival footage of Presley singing “Unchained Melody.” In that moment Luhrmann reminds you of the myth-making at play. Which is maybe a good thing, given Luhrmann’s misleading, plasticine approach. Read full review…
Elvis (2022) Movie Review – Elvis may have left the building, but Baz Luhrmann brings him back for the ultimate encore performance
Using the performer’s signature dance move as a symbol of cultural divide and social change, entire montages are dedicated to the “Elvis the Pelvis” (a real-life nickname bestowed by outraged press of the time) phenomenon. Still somehow provocative even by today’s standards, the camera lingers on star Austin Butler’s (playing Elvis) every twitch and twist as he violently thrusts his groin towards the hordes of screaming female fans below the stage. It’s hardly subtle. But who expects subtlety from a Baz Luhrmann movie? Or for that matter, an Elvis show? Read full review…
Elvis (2022) review – a classic example of style over substance
Upon leaving this movie, you are left with mixed feelings. The lead performance is astonishing, but everything else is so insipid and one-dimensional that the whole thing looks like a magic trick. Your eyes are drawn to the spectacle and glitz, but underneath there is really nothing of substance to latch onto.
It seems that this screenplay has been bleached back to present the beats you would expect from such a film, and for a film over two and a half hours long, there are moments from the Elvis lore that seem glossed over and generally just omitted.
This is a classic example of style over substance that will please certain fans and alienate others. Worth watching for the lead role, but once you get over that, there is very little here that is either new or innovative and that is such a shame when there is so much talent available. Read full review…
Elvis (2022) Review
Austin Butler is sensational as Presley. It’s a huge ask for an actor to disappear into a man so well known that everyone and his uncle does a bad impression of him. Butler convinces at every age, from teen to 42. He’s not a particularly close visual match for Presley but he’s mastered vocal inflections and imperceptible details in Presley’s moves on stage that mean he captures his presence. More importantly, he gives a sense of a person, with normal insecurities, beneath the public image. Even if Luhrmann shies away from finding out who that normal person is, Butler suggests he’s there. Hanks’ Parker is written cartoonishly and he plays it appropriately. It’s not realistic but it’s entertaining.
Nobody comes to a Luhrmann film hoping for something under the top. His Elvis has all the dazzle and bombast you could ask, but it presents a portrait of an icon — not of a flesh-and-blood man. Read full review…
Elvis review – blistering, turbocharged chronicle of the King
With electrifying performances from Austin Butler as Elvis and Tom Hanks as Colonel Parker, Baz Luhrmann’s whirlwind biopic is cinematic dynamite. Read full review…
Elvis review: Baz Luhrmann’s sweaty, seductive biopic makes the King cool again
To say that Elvis isn’t really so much about the real Elvis might sound like it’s taking the pressure off of Butler’s performance. But that’d be an entirely unfair judgement of what’s being achieved here – an impersonation of one of the most impersonated people on the planet, that’s at times uncanny without ever coming across as parody. Sure, Butler has the looks, the voice, the stance and the wiggle nailed down, but what’s truly impressive is that indescribable, undistillable essence of Elvis-ness – magnetic and gentle and fierce, all at the same time. Read full review…
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