3000 Miles To Graceland
***.7 BM
Starring: Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courteney Cox, Kevin Pollak, Christian Slater, Thomas Haden Church, David Arquette, Bokeem Woodbine

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Believe it or not, I could actually buy Kevin Costner as a badass. I know, I know, it's hard to fathom that our beloved "Postman" could be a convincing hardcore nastyman, but he did it.

I went into this movie with high hopes for a damn good time. Ever since the first preview I saw for it, I've been far too excited about it. I was looking forward to enjoying a Kevin Costner performance again (Thirteen Days notwithstanding - a good performance, but not Bull Durham kinda fun), and Kurt Russell is always pretty cool... and guys like Lovitz and Ice-T running around in there promised to make it a hardcore hootenanny, and I wasn't disappointed.

A bunch of Elvis impersonators - Costner's Murphy, Russell's Michael, Christian Slater, David Arquette and Bokeem Woodbine (whose character led a one-joke existence as 'the black Elvis') - rob a casino, but Murphy pulls some doublecrossing antics, but forethought and luck allow Michael to get away with the loot - or would have if he hadn't gotten mixed up with Courteney Cox and her annoying thief kid, who queer the deal and make things a lot more complicated, crazy and violent.

There's an absolutely absurd amount of gunplay here, made more absurd because I'd just seen The Way of the Gun a couple days prior, but that's not something I didn't expect. But I was expecting the tone of a film to be a bit lighter than it wound up being, although judging by some of the elements within it, the filmmakers weren't sure what tone they'd wound up with - some pretty grim and gritty stuff was followed up with a bunch of silly Elvis dancing during the credits. Didn't quite jive.

But it WAS a good time nonetheless. Thankfully, David Arquette is killed off early. I used to think this guy was all right, but now I can't even handle seeing the guy because of his asshead commercials. As a matter of fact, most everybody's killed off early, so it's basically Russell vs. Costner for most of the film, and Cox and the kid making things difficult. Not that that's all that bad, since everybody gave good, fun performances. Just seems like maybe a little more could have been done with a cabal of Elvi.

Another thing I'm not sure how I feel about: I'm not really one to advocate gratuitous nudity, although being a heterosexual male, I'm not incapable of enjoying it. Overall, though, it seems most any nudity in a film tends to be unnecessary, with certain exceptions. However, if you're going to have an extremely raucous and wild sex scene, as Russell and Cox have, and the gal still has a bra on during it, it just feels off. It sorta takes you out of the film and reminds you that these are actors with 'no-nudity' clauses in their contracts rather than actual characters... although the fact that there's a kid sneaking into the room during the sex scene might have had something to do with it, too. Just some thoughts. Maybe I'm just a misogynistic caveman.

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