I grew up with grandparents who loved Elvis so I was pretty familiar with his music. Add that to the fact that I am a huge Baz Luhrmann fan and a Tom Hanks fan and this was always going to be a movie I was interested in. It is one of the better music biopics that I have seen recently and I think it has turned Austin Butler into a superstar!
How to Download Elvis
Since Elvis is a Warner Bros. Pictures release, you should be able to download or stream it online on HBO Max. Traditionally you can expect this to happen 45 days after its theatrical release (which happened on 24th June 2022). Click on the Download button at the end of this review and check the current availability. If you’re in the market for biographical films about famous musicians, check out also our reviews of Respect (Aretha Franklin), Bohemian Rhapsody (Freddie Mercury), or Rocketman (Elton John).
The Movie Review
From the trailers, I knew that this movie was not going to just be about Elvis and his rise to superstardom. Elvis is also a story about Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’s longtime manager who had a real hold on him. Tom Hanks is just amazing in this role and he and Austin Butler give tremendous performances, I legit would not be surprised if there is an Oscar in Butler’s future.
I was quite surprised at how fast-paced Elvis was. I have heard some people say that the movie brushes over some parts of his life too much. I can kind of see that, but I actually liked the fast-paced, almost chaotic pace of the movie. It was a good way to capture just how crazy the life Elvis lived was.
We get to see his childhood and how he grew up as a poor white kid around poor black kids. For years people have said that Elvis basically stole his whole shtick from black music and this movie does try to give credit to where his main influences came from. It may be a tad “on the nose” however, I think it does show Elvis’s beginnings in a different light than what we usually see.
What was really captivating about the movie for me was the relationship between Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis. Parker is basically a carny who sees Elvis as his ticket to the big time. He was a character that I particularly did not like as the way he treated Elvis always seemed to be to benefit his personal interests more than Elvis’s.
I think that the movie does a great job of capturing just how much of a worldwide icon Elvis was. The way the movie is shot is amazing and the concert footage and the mayhem around Elvis was truly incredible to see. He got to live the highest of highs and it is showcased very well in this movie.
However, this movie is not shy about showcasing the later parts of Elvis’s life. How he was basically used as a product during his Las Vegas act was pretty brutal. It was actually quite sad to see this man who had so much talent be basically used for other people to make money. However, no matter what the epic showman that he was shined through.
Elvis was one of those movies that I was sure was going to be good. I would probably put this in my top five biopics of all time! I get that some may not like the way it glosses over some parts of his life. Yet, I have to say unless they made this like a four-hour movie, I do not see how they could have done it any better. Not only is this a must watch I would recommend making the effort to see it on the big screen.
- This is a star-creating performance from Austin Butler
- Tom Hanks is amazing as Colonel Tom Parker
- The movie showcases the highs and lows of the incredible life Elvis had
- The music and the visuals of this movie are truly incredible
- While I did not have an issue with it, some have said that they feel it should have been longer
- I am sure there will be some die-hard Elvis fans not thrilled with some of the parts it glosses over or ignores