3000 Miles to Graceland Demian Lichtenstein
Published Mar 01, 2001"3000 Miles To Graceland" is a rather typical action movie, if having the body count of a small country is considered typical in these black days of entertainment. Revolving around a heist gone wrong, a thread of constant betrayal and double-cross, a bag full of money, an unbelievable level of marksmanship (for the villains) and a couple of performances that make the film bearable, "Graceland" is more fat, jump-suit sporting Elvis, in its excess, than slim, denim-clad Elvis, but still has some of the latter's charm. Barely.
Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner play two white-trash, Elvis worshipping ex-cons who dress up as fat, jump-suit Elvis (along with the rather heavy but never utilised supporting cast of Christian Slater, David Arquette and Bokeem Woodbine), to rob a casino hosting, you guessed it, an Elvis convention. After a very violent, kill-crazy rampage of a robbery, the gang escapes and the double crossing begins, mainly by Costner's character, Thomas Murphy. While the supporting cast of Slater, Arquette and Woodbine are killed before the first third of the movie has transpired, contributing little to the film, it is of little consequence as this is a vehicle for its stars, Costner and Russell, who play a game of cat-and-mouse with the money, all the way to the film's finale. Along the way, Russell, who's character is one of those "bad men" trying to do the "right thing" types, hooks up with a white-trash opportunist, Courtney Cox, and her hoodlum-in-training son (David Kaye), adding another element of back-stabbing to the equation and the love interest that blossoms into a rather sappy and clichéd ending.
"Graceland" is best exemplified by the work of Costner, who plays a psycho better than he's played any other character in about ten years, not high praise but praise nevertheless, and Russell, although at times it seems his work in "Big Trouble In Little China" makes it difficult to take him seriously in any movie since. There is also a sub-plot about Russell and Costner's characters being the illegitimate sons of Elvis and, subsequently, half-brothers, that is never fully explored and more brilliant actors that are never utilised, Kevin Pollack and Thomas Haden Church as two Federal Marshals after Murphy. While there is little that is original about "Graceland," and some of the plot-holes and coincidences are nearly insulting, but until Tarantino makes another movie, what else are you going to do, read?