3000 Miles To Graceland Movie Review

Those of you hoping to hear about a clever casino heist picture in the style of Ocean's Eleven are in for a sore disappointment. From this movie's opening frames, featuring dueling CGI-animated scorpions, it's obvious that we're in for some punk-ass director's idea of a snazzy action film.

3000 Miles to Graceland is not the realization of that dream.

No, any sense of clever in Graceland's casino heist has to be scraped from its ubiquitous Elvis costumes and Kurt Russell's masterful hotwiring of an elevator. The rest of the heist (and the movie) is simply guns guns guns, as Russell, Kevin Costner, and a band of thugs rob the Riviera casino in the midst of an Elvis impersonators' convention. Oh, the ingenuity!

Thirty minutes into the film, the heist is done, felons Costner and Russell are off in different directions to spar over the loot, and Courteney Cox stands between them as a poor man's femme fatale (with child in tow). Who'll end up with the money? Who cares? We've got 90 long minutes to go, and we're talking downhill.

I would normally say that trying to hang a movie on half-a-joke Elvis kitsch would be a phenomenal letdown until I came to realize that the Elvis bit is the only thing that Graceland has going for it at all. For two long hours, the film presents us with an unbearable litany of unbelievable coincidences and awful continuity errors that would have Elvis himself spinning in his grave. (Case in point: It's only 1,600 miles by road from Las Vegas to Memphis, not 3,000.)

Graceland even manages to make bad action films look good. Demian Lichtenstein's music video-style direction wears thin after about five minutes of slow-mo and fast-mo "special effects." (Oddly enough, Lichtenstein's past credits turn out to be, you guessed it, music videos. Sorry, Demian: You're no Guy Ritchie.) But really, I have to fault Costner for the bulk of this atrocity of a film simply for agreeing to be in it. One hesitates to ask not whether he read the script before signing on for the film, but whether he can read at all. On a side note to Lichtenstein and any parents in the audience: Attempting to mask plot defects with loads of violence tends to amplify them rather than conceal.

It's truer now more than ever... ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building.

3000 dollars to Costner.


3000 Miles To Graceland Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: R, 2001


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