Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Action 3000 Miles to Graceland

3000 Miles to Graceland

Rated R, 125 Minutes, 2001

Directed by: Demian Lichtenstein
Warner Brothers

Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, Courtney Cox, Christian Slater, Kevin Pollak, David Arquette, Jon Lovitz, and many more.

3000 Miles to Graceland is unlike any other Las Vegas Heist movie. The heist itself takes up a small portion of the story. 5 men go in to a casino dressed as Elvis during International Elvis Week, and four men walk out. The four escape with their lives, and 3.2 million dollars. The main part of the movie is the final survivors from the original heist “cleaning” the stolen cash.

 The characters in this movie are what make it worth watching. There is Michael Zane (played by Kurt Russel), fresh out of prison in his Nevada highway motel room. There is his partner, Thomas J. Murphy (played by Kevin Costner), who is known for his outrageous sideburns, blood-lust, and obsession with “the King,” who he believes is his biological father. Courtney Cox plays Cybil Waingrow, Michael’s neighbor who believes in love at first sight, and does everything she can to show Michael they are meant to be together. All three lead roles are well acted and jump at the viewer with their colorful personalities.

 Watching the film, I got the distinct impression that Jesse (played by David Kaye), “Cybil with a C’s” son, is the most important character. He has nothing to do with the initial heist, and is thrown into the story by his lovable and ambitious mother. He wins over every person he meets, criminal or honest, with his outgoing personality, and no-fear attitude.  His character is the glue of the entire plot line, and Kaye plays the young character with ease.

Jon Lovitz portrayal of Jay Peterson, “the cleaner” will win you over. His antique shop, full of hunting trophies and trinkets, is a nice offset to the highway motel and Vegas casino the rest of the movie plays out in.

The plot has many twist and turns as Murphy and Zane battle over the money from a heist that went well, but not perfectly. The two men, and Cybil, manage to run into each other in unlikely places, at just the right time to make everything fall apart yet again. Followed by cowboy-hat wearing Nevada marshals (played by Kevin Pollak and Thomas Haden Church) with a no-nonsense approach, the final standoff is worthy of the story leading up to it.

This action-packed heist movie is well worth the weekend viewing. It has good acting, an interesting story, and plenty of twist and turns. Cybil provides enough romance to win over the mushy viewer while Jesse provides comic relief at all the right times.

1 thought on “3000 Miles to Graceland”

  1. Glad to see someone else is a fan of 3,000 Miles to Graceland…I thought it rocked, quit a job to go see it at the theatre…seems to get panned a lot, even by Russell who starred in it, but Coster was the one carrying it anyway. Thanks for sharing.

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