Everything about this looks cool…except Tom Hanks.
What inspired such a thought that I’d never expect to think? The first trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, the new biopic about the King of Rock directed by the glitzy cinematic showman of Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrmann.
Rising newcomer Austin Butler stars as the iconic groundbreaking rock-and-roller, while Hanks co-stars as the behind-the-scenes Svengali who helped guide Elvis to the top, manager Colonel Tom Parker.
While Butler shows promise in the title role, it’s Luhrmann’s directorial panache and vigor that’s the real star of this first look, giving the staid biopic genre a necessary boost of aesthetic adrenaline.
But Hanks? Here, he feels like the one element that comes off as a classic example of a big budget Hollywood movie trying to hard. More specifically, between the high-pitched voice and fat suit makeup, the whole performance feels strained — as Hanks often can when he dips his toes into “character” type roles that require heavy affectation (Forrest Gump being a rare and timeless exception to that rule).
Still, because of Luhrmann, this’ll be one to watch.
Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis opens this summer in theaters on June 24, 2022.
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