REVIEW — “Elvis & Nixon”
Amazon has been trying to capitalize on the success that Netflix has had, and not long ago opened up Amazon Studios. Finally, they can be proud of a movie they put out. “Elvis & Nixon” is a fun retelling of the true story of how Elvis Presley managed to score a meeting with President Richard Nixon. While this is a very simple story, and not much to tell, they manage to make it a fun time. It plays, more or less, like a slow burn of comedy; as it takes some time to build to the epic meeting between the two.
The cast is obviously the best part as they not only appear to be having a great time on screen, but that also rubs off on the audience. They did a great job personifying their characters, and capturing their mannerisms and speech styles. The only thing against Michael Shannon is he doesn’t quite nail the look, not his fault he just doesn’t look like Elvis in the face, and he didn’t quite hammer down the dialect, but his tone and attitude were spot on. Kevin Spacey, again, didn’t exactly look like Nixon, but neither one of them really needed to look identical to their actual character. They both crushed their performances, and had amazing chemistry on screen. Add to this some solid supporting performances from Alex Pettyfer, Evan Peters, Colin Hanks and Johnny Knoxville (yes, the dude from “Bad Grandpa”), and you have a fun short little film.
Here’s where my qualm comes in. The movie has a short run time, but still plays a little too long. The setup, or the ‘slow burn’ I mentioned before, builds on a character we don’t really need developed: Alex Pettyfer’s supporting role. There are times you find yourself wondering if the movie is really meant to be about him, but then you’re reminded… no… no it isn’t. Is the character important to the development of Elvis? Yes, but that doesn’t mean we need to know his whole life story. Granted, had they cut a lot of his stuff out they wouldn’t have been able to justify releasing this in theaters, but at the same time it would have made a much leaner and better film.
As a whole “Elvis & Nixon” is definitely a must-see if your a fan of movies/these actors or lived in that era. It’s, more or less, well made, and it’s definitely well acted. It’s a light-hearted good time, and should be a real crowd pleaser. 4/5