3000 Miles to Graceland



Reservoir Dogs go Vegas? 3000 Miles to Graceland imitates more than Elvis. Five ex-cons, usual suspects for armed robbery, band together to take care of business, pulling off a multimillion-dollar Las Vegas casino heist during the International Elvis Convention. What better disguises than the king-sized shades and superhero costume (complete with golden brocaded cape) of the late Vegas-period Elvis?

Two-fifths of the motley crew’s uniforms are cowboy color-coded. Bad guy Murphy (Kevin Costner, 13 Days), the sociopathic brains of the operation, wears black. Michael (Kurt Russell, Soldier), a thief with a heart of gold (and the only one who refrains from racking up a body count), wears white. The remainder of the crew — loose cannon Hanson (Christian Slater, The Contender), crude jokester Gus (David Arquette, Scream 3) and trigger-happy Franklin (Bokeem Woodbine, Caught Up) — divide the primary colors (blue, red and yellow ) among them.

As the Elvises attempt to leave the casino, the going gets rougher than a Tennessee back road. Back at their motel hideout, treachery blazes from the barrel of a gun.

At this point, writer Richard Recco and writer-director Demian Lichtenstein ditch the counterfeited bones of Quentin Tarantino’s tragic heist-opera, Reservoir Dogs (1992), in the trunk of their Hollywood action vehicle and drive into black comedy. Michael ends up playing a screwballish romance with hot-to-trot waitress, part-time femme fatale Cybil (Courteney Cox-Arquette, Scream 3) and a Jerry Springer version of Shane (1953) to her sticky-fingered son, Jesse (David Kaye, Legends of the Fall). The body count rises as the surviving robbers and the mother-son felony team set off on a bungling chase for the money.

3000 Miles to Graceland is a muddled theme-park ride through scenes of action, romance and comedy played out by latter-day cowboys and Jezebels, cops and robbers. Lichtenstein’s gratuitous computer-game and music-video visuals jolt and buzz while plugging two Elvis impersonating stars — both pushing 50 — into a boy’s adrenaline and hormone-fueled fantasy of cars, guns, criminal thrills and showgirls. Maybe this is what male “menopause” looks like.

E-mail James Keith La Croix at letters@metrotimes.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.