"3000 Miles to Graceland"
Directed by Demian Lichtenstein.
Written by Demian Lichtenstein and Richard Recco.
Starring Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 2/25/01
Yes, yes, I know. “Long time, no see.”
It's been a busy last 10 days and now, after responding to all of
the Singles Awareness Day e-mails and taking a trip to New York City
this past weekend, I got back itching to see a flick.
My roommate Keith and I were at the casa and
I thought about what had come out in the last two weeks.
“Sweet November”--Yeah, right.
“Down to Earth”--Chris Rock in a PG-13
movie? Hmm, that means no profanity. Skip it.
“Saving Silverman”--My friend Kristin
said that if I went to see this film, our eleven-year friendship
would have to end. So, I skipped that one, too.
“Recess: School's Out”--My kid sisters
wanted me to see this one; I would rather eat rice cakes and
listen to Enya than see that shit.</p>
So, that left the new Kurt Russell/Kevin
Costner actioner “3000 Miles to Graceland.” It looked cheesy
enough, and hey, sometimes my guy impulses take over and say
“Justin, see the movie with the most guns!!” Keith and I rolled
over to the multiplex and, after suffering through the ridiculous
preview for “Exit Wounds”--the upcoming Steven Seagal flick--our
It should be noted first off that this film
is straight garbage. It's not the bottom of the barrel, but it's
scrapin' big-time. The plot: Five criminals, led by the villainous
Thomas Murphy (Costner), hit a casino during an international Elvis
Presley impersonation convention and rob it of marked bills held in
the casino's safe. In his gang of crooks is Mike Zane (Russell), a
former cellmate of Murphy (or, as he is known in the film, “Murph”)
when they did time together at a penitentiary. Essentially, this
heist goes awry when Murph's gang is seen robbing the safe on
video...and the gang decides that rather than run, it will shoot it
out with the casino's entire security force and Las Vegas police
officers. From there, double crosses ensue and the majority of the
film is spent watching Murph and Mike chase each other, the stolen
money and a “woman” (or, more appropriately for the film, “ho”) that
wants to spend the rest of her life with Mike...played by Courtney
I will admit that the first half-hour of
this movie is pretty good and has some laughs, some cool action and
Bokeem Woodbine. After the initial heist, though, all of those
things disappear and the movie gets horribly atrocious. One of its
biggest problems is its cast: the number of actors that show up
looking for a check is too high to believe; Christian Slater, Kevin
Pollak, Jon Lovitz, David Arquette, Howie Long, Ice-T...all get a
sliver of screen time and so many of them get wasted quickly that
you aren't even sure they were in the film! And, because all save
Slater can't act, it is hilarious watching them die. Sorry to blow
it for you, but Long (football analyst & star of the former Oscar
nominee “Firestorm”, about a guy who can fight the hell outta some
fires) dies so grandly that as he is trying to ask another character
a question, you are laughing so hard you can't hear what he is
saying! It is that funny! And then, to chase that, Ice-T comes
flying in through a warehouse hanging upside-down and firing
machines guns in a twirling motion...and he is hitting SWAT cops 50
feet away square in the chest! I was falling out of my chair!
And, so were a lot of other people in my
audience...at least, the ones that were still there. You see, I
would say about 25% of my audience walked out of the movie theater
before the end sequence. I can't think of the last time so many
people walked out of a movie. And, from the look on one guy's face,
he was PISSED that he had dropped $8 on that bad boy. Man, he was
Russell could do a lot better and Costner
clearly enjoyed playing this ridiculous character Murphy; all
Costner does the entire movie is walk around spouting bad action
movie cliches and firing weapons that are so large they are
justifiably “artillery.” But, as a road movie, “3000 Miles to
Graceland” is lost in a sea of confusion. Maybe I should have gone
to see “Sweet November” after all...
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard