Made in 2001, 3000 Miles to Graceland
is an action thriller with an all-star cast. Kevin Costner is the leader of an armed gang of robbers, all disguised as Elvis impersonators, evidently assuming that such garb will help them blend in discreetly in Las Vegas where they plan an Oceans Eleven
-style heist. Among the other gang members are an under-used Christian Slater, Bokeem Woodbine and Kurt Russell (who once did play Elvis in a biopic), the most human and conscientious of this murderous bunch. When Costner double-crosses the gang, the film hares off in all directions across the mid-West, with Russell now accompanied by a resourceful white-trash Mom (Courteney Cox) and her bratty kid Jesse (David Kaye) as the film draws to a sensationally bloody denouement.
Unfortunately, writer/director Demian Lichstenstein, previously best known for his music videos, has no idea how to handle or pull off this project. There's too much dead time between the spectacularly, ridiculously violent heist and the climax. Despite a seemingly prestige cast, none of the characters really engage us, though Costner impresses a little as a psycho convinced he's Elvis' son. 3000 Miles to Graceland feels like an effort on the part of some of the ageing or has-been actors belatedly to grab some of the John Woo/Tarantino action. However, Woo has a balletic sense of on-screen violence, while Tarantino's characters always had something quirkily compelling about them. Neither quality is really present in this movie, hence its failure at the box office.
On the DVD: 3000 Miles to Graceland is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic format. Both the sound and visuals are immaculate, especially in the predictable explosion scenes. Extras include a trailer only and, frankly, that feels like more information than we need. --David Stubbs
Ex-cons Michael Zane (Kurt Russell) and Thomas Murphy (Kevin Costner) have come up with a plan to perform a major casino heist using an Elvis convention as cover. The job goes well, but the crooks soon turn on each other and Murphy, who believes himself to be the bastard son of the King of Rock and Roll, makes off with the proceeds all by himself. Zane quickly gives chase, with his girlfriend (Courteney Cox Arquette), her young son, and the police all trailing along for good measure.