ELVIS: Watch for the Performances. Stay for . .
Can't think of anything to recommend "Elvis," more than the restaged performances. Director Baz Luhrmann specializes in lush, epic musicals. Moulin Rouge is a perfect example of how to put a number on anabolic steroids.
"Elvis" is true to Baz's talent.
Austin Buckley, as the titular hip-swinging heartthrob, is up to the task. He carries every number from the early barn storming tour in the 1950s through his last show in Vegas, two weeks before his death on August 16, 1977.
Tom "Pudding Face" Hanks thinks he's stealing the movie as Colonel Tom Parker, the fraud who purloined everything from Elvis Presley, including about 30 years of the man's life. Hanks, in a fat suit, or is he(?), hits the viewer with a Dutch accent worthy of Meryl Streep in "Out of Africa." The drawback to Tom's performance is that he takes himself so seriously in his roles now, it's hard to see him looking for anything more than about three strata of emotion for the nefarious impresario.
The film also suffers from Luhrmann's love of "At least 2.5 hours or not worth the, uh, time?" It checks in at two hours and thirty-nine minutes. There's too much Hanks and too little Richard Rosburgh (Vernon Presley, Elvis' ne'er-do-well Daddy), who contributed as much to the destruction of the singer.
The supporting roles are so mediocre, they're not worth mentioning. In defense of the underutilized proxies for Priscilla Presley, Elvis' mother, and Hank Snow, Baz doesn't allow for enough character development to make a difference in the plot.
But who needs a plot when transporting the viewer to 70s Vegas is just so much darned fun?
HULU or HBOMAX.