David at the Movies: the King lives on – as garishly as ever

ELVIS

 

Mark Kermode’s rave review on BBCtv encouraged me to see this, but I wasn’t as blown away as he was. Austin Butler gives a wildly energetic performance, especially in the “snake-hips” early years, and he sings most of the numbers, but his face often looked as if he was in an animation and I kept getting flashes of Victoria Beckham, not sure why!

The movie is way too long. There’s too much time spent with Tom Hanks’s money-grubbing Colonel Parker and his not-so-secret secrets. Hanks’s accent, veering between B-movie Nazi and Mexican waiter, got on my nerves.

The essence of the Presley mythology is there: the  fame, the exploitation in some dire movies, the marriage to Priscilla, the Vegas slippage into drugs and self-parody. As he has in several previous movies, Baz Luhrmann fires up the screen with razzle-dazzle, but I would have liked a bit more depth, more of Presley’s “inner life” – and a lot less Col. Parker.

 

Austin Butler – why did I keep thinking of Victoria Beckham?

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