Volume 94, Issue 82

Tuesday, February 27, 2001


Dorothy Speak branches out with The Wife Tree

Elvis has left the building

Elvis has left the building

Photo by Alan Markfield
WELL YOU CAN TELL BY THE WAY I USE MY WALK THAT I'M A WOMAN'S MAN, NO TIME TO TALK. Kevin Costner turns in his best impression of Elvis Presley in an otherwise deplorable project, 3000 Miles to Graceland.

3000 Miles To Graceland
Starring: Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, David Arquette
Directed By: Demian Lichtenstein

By Aaron St. John
Gazette Staff

What the hell is wrong with Kevin Costner?

After rising to fame in the 1980s with a series of strong films like Bull Durham, Field Of Dreams and The Untouchables before starring in and directing the classic Dances With Wolves in 1990, he has since become one of Hollywood's biggest jokes.

The Bodyguard? Waterworld? For the past decade, Costner has made horrible film after horrible film, and his performance in each has been terrible. His latest star vehicle, 3000 Miles To Graceland, is no exception.

A take on the standard heist film, the hackneyed plot of this movie involves a group of thuggish criminals who attempt to rob a Las Vegas casino during an Elvis Presley impersonator convention.

That's pretty much all you need to know, as the reminder of the film doesn't develop much. It's a hyper-violent, long and incredibly inane film that leaves viewers begging for it to end, long before it does. There are a lot of explosions, double crosses and twists, probably meant to add suspense, but given that it has all been seen before, these effects contribute very little to the movie.

First time director Demian Lichtenstein previously made a living directing music videos for the likes of Eric Clapton and Sting. He has certainly created a slick looking picture, putting his earlier experience to good use with some extravagantly choreographed action sequences. But he doesn't manage to come up with a single original shot in the entire film.

Every scene feels like it's been cribbed from an earlier and doubtless superior movie.

Also, with its non-stop violence and bloodshed, one might expect a lot of noise, but this is an unnecessarily loud film. When stuff isn't blowing up, shotguns are being fired, and in the few scenes without gunplay or pyrotechnics, the cast either yells at each other or the soundtrack overpowers the dialogue. If you must see 3000 Miles To Graceland, bring earplugs.

As mentioned earlier, Costner does nothing in this film to halt his downward spiral. As good as he once was, he is now arguably the worst big name actor working in Hollywood, taking wooden delivery and limited facial expressions to new lows. Thought his accent-less Englishman in Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves was bad? You ain't seen nothing yet.

The rest of the cast doesn't fare much better. The normally dependable (and underrated) Kurt Russell doesn't exactly embarrass himself here, but he certainly seems to have phoned in his performance. Christian Slater, who showed a great deal of promise before letting his personal problems interfere with his career, looks ashamed to be in the film.

The one person who looks like he's having a good time is David Arquette, but given his past work, he probably thinks this is his best role yet. Still, his enthusiasm pays off, and he is one of the movie's few redeeming values.

A stupid film starring a stupid man, 3000 miles sounds about how far you should stay away from 3000 Miles To Graceland.

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