Review: Elvis movie bucks tired musical biopic trends

Richard Martin
Source: 1News

As someone born a couple of decades after Elvis Presley died, it's difficult to comprehend just how big of a deal he actually was.

With the new film Elvis, director Baz Luhrmann attempts to show a glimpse of just how unique the King of Rock 'n Roll's life was.

The movie covers his entire career, from his humble beginnings in Memphis, Tennesse right through to his death in... Memphis, Tennesse.

At the core of the film is his tumultuous relationship with manager Colonel Tom Parker, who narrates the film, attempting to disprove his status as the villain of Elvis's story.

Austin Butler stars as Elvis Presley in Elvis

Relative newcomer Austin Butler plays Elvis in what is sure to be a star-making turn for the young actor. At this point, halfway through the year, he would be my pick for Best Actor at the next Academy Awards.

Tom Hanks plays Colonel Parker, in kind of a bizarre performance, but it's somewhat warranted as the character is certainly an eccentric one.

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Luhrmann is a divisive director, but one with a unique visual style and a flair for the dramatic. Love or hate him, he's a perfect fit for the story of Elvis Presley.

He's going full Luhrmann in this film, the kinetic energy he's known for is on full display. The over two-and-a-half-hour film in parts feels like it's entirely montage, within the opening moments you're taken on a ride and firmly strapped in.

The glossy sheen present in all of Baz Luhrmann's films helps keep Elvis from feeling like the same old tired musical biopic formula we've seen dozens of times (most egregiously in Bohemian Rhapsody, if you ask me).

The film received a record 12-minute standing ovation at the Cannes film festival, where Elvis's widow Priscilla Presley was in attendance, which I'm sure is a much more well-informed recommendation than mine.

I'm just some guy.