OPINION COLUMNS

‘3,000 Miles to Graceland’ leaves viewers ‘all shook up’ … and annoyed

By Racey Burden | Published Saturday, November 26, 2016
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In the spirit of Thanksgiving, David and I found a way to subtly torture each other – pick out the worst movie we own and make the other one watch it.

“Sleepover” vs. “3,000 Miles to Graceland”

David’s pick for me was the early 2000s caper “3,000 Miles to Graceland.” On the surface, it looks like your basic, bad crime thriller, with a terrible twist – the main gang is robbing a casino hosting an Elvis impersonator convention. But it’s so much more than that – and so much worse. Much, much worse.

I knew from the opening credits I would hate this movie. How did I know? Well, a) the music is terrible and b) it kicks off with a bunch of crappy CGI scorpions fighting in the desert. What does this have to do with the rest of the movie? Probably nothing. Is it meant to be a metaphor for the fight between the two leads? Maybe. In any case, it was stupid looking.

The next problem I had was the heist itself – you’d expect that to be the whole movie. The plotting and planning, the last second betrayal, they get their money and ride off into the sunset in the end.

Um, no. The heist is over in like the first 20 minutes, and by then it’s been established that the main characters are all cool with murdering innocent people (they shoot up a packed casino with machine guns, blowing away all the security guards and police officers). Then the Elvis-theme is only continued throughout the rest of the film by the never-confirmed hints that Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner’s characters are the King’s long-lost sons. Yeah. It’s that ridiculous.

All these famous, peaked-in-the-’90s actors, like David Arquette, Christian Slater and Ice T are credited, only to appear for like two scenes. At least Ice T got to go out by hanging suspended upside down from some kind of pulley, twirling in a circle and shooting up the FBI with two Uzis. I say at least, because that ended his five seconds of screen time, not because it was as cool as the director meant it to be – it was stupid. Ice T should be smarter than to swing upside down into a room full of federal agents with machine guns blazing. That’s a great way to get yourself killed.

Oh, and of course Courteney Cox was in this, too, mainly to give the presumably male target audience someone to ogle, give Russell’s character someone to sleep with and to be a terrible mother to the movie’s only child character, who will no doubt be traumatized by all the bloody death scenes he witnessed.

Also, weren’t Cox and Arquette married at this point? I wonder who got who a role in this crap fest. I’m betting she was the big earner in the flop that is “3,000 Miles to Graceland.”

Spoilers – in the end Russell, who I believe is supposed to be the good guy (he kills people and threatens to shoot a kid and the woman he claims to love! That does not a sympathetic antihero make!), gets away with Cox and her movie kid, but I really found myself wishing he’d died in the final scene.

Overall, I’d say this film is not enough “Ocean’s Eleven” and way too much of a poorly-made Tarantino imitation. It’s a wannabe artsy crime movie that went overboard on the gore and bad stylistic shots and put next to no effort into creating a coherent plot or characters the audience could actually root for.

I’ll give David props for making me sit through two hours of this filth, but I won’t give the Talley family props for spending $8.99 on a movie that should have continued to rot on the shelves of 2-K Pawn (the sticker’s still on the box). You can do better, Talleys.

Racey Burden is a Messenger reporter.

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