For a guy known as “The King”, Elvis Presley is a Rock and Roll icon who doesn’t have much of presence when it comes to big screen movie adaptations. Sure we had the 1979 made for TV movie starring Kurt Russell and directed by John Carpenter, but for the most part Elvis has been depicted in cheesy fashion in cult films like Heartbreak Hotel and Bubba-Ho-Tep. It’s crazy to think a music legend such as Mr. Presley hasn’t been explored more considering Hollywood loves their true life stories.
Enter the new film Elvis & Nixon starring Michael Shannon as The King and Kevin Spacey playing the leader of the free world. The film is the story of when Elvis decided he must speak with President Richard Nixon in December of 1970. The movie focuses on the strange days leading up to the Oval Office meeting on December 21st, 1970 with a delusional Elvis going on a rogue mission to meet Nixon and save America. The story may sound absurd and fake, but the proof is in the picture of the two famous figures that became the most requested photograph in the National Archives.
Michael Shannon doesn’t really look the part as Elvis, but he does give an engaging performance in Elvis & Nixon. Shannon brings the strangeness to Presley and the decision leads to some quality laughs and WTF moments as The King roams the world losing grip on reality all while fully armed with an arsenal of weapons. Shannon may not embody Elvis, but he gives you a cool character you can’t take your eyes off of no matter how weird he gets in his quest to meet the Commander-in-Chief.
Kevin Spacey on the other hand does nails the look and mannerisms of the paranoid, vulgar and boorish 37th President of the United States. Nixon is the straight man to the wild card Elvis making their rendezvous uncomfortable, yet hilarious as the audience becomes a fly on the wall to this awkward encounter. There are moments in Elvis & Nixon that will make you shake your head in disbelief and then laugh it off absurdity, because you know it’s all true. The film is only a few days in the life of these two popular figures, but Elvis & Nixon is an oddball tale full of charm.
Overall, I give Elvis & Nixon 3 out of 4 stars.
Read all my reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell