Elvis first reactions: Critics hail Austin Butler’s portrayal of Rock and Roll King

The first reactions to Austin Butler movie Elvis are out. The film reviewers have hailed Butler, who plays the King of Rock and Roll in the Baz Luhrmann directorial.

Austin Butler and Tom Hanks-starrer Elvis Presley biopic, Elvis, has evoked a largely positive reactions from critics. The Baz Luhrmann directorial throws spotlight on the singer’s inspiring journey, his relationship with the Black culture, his love story, and his bond with his manager Colonel Tom Parker.
The movie recently screened at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, and is said to have received an impressive 12-minute standing ovation. Calling it an energetic biopic, IGN said in its review, “Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis tells the story of the King of Rock & Roll at the speed of light, as jittery and alive with energy as young Presley himself was when he’d take the stage back in the 1950s and gyrate the crowd into a frenzy. There are times when that is absolutely the best approach.”
The Mirror hailed Austin Butler’s central act and wrote in its shining review of the movie, “Butler nails the moves, the mannerisms, the soulful voice and somehow even channels the icon’s charisma. When girls scream at him in the film’s electrifying musical sequences, you wonder how much acting was required. Surprisingly, the film is as much about his corrupt manager Colonel Tom Parker as it is about the rock and roll pioneer.”
The Hollywood Reporter also had good words to write about the biopic as a section of its review read, “The King of Rock and Roll gets suitably electrified biopic treatment in this kinetic vision of his life and career through the eyes of the financial abuser who controlled him.”
However Vanity Fair was not too impressed by the Baz Luhrmann film and wrote in its review, “There’s lots of him (Elvis) in Baz Luhrmann’s film, swaggering and crooning and sweating. But little of his inner life, the fire uniquely his, is communicated to the audience. It’s a film about a legend that keeps him just that: an idea, thrashing away at a distance.”
Even IndieWire, despite being taken with Butler’s moves, had nothing nice to say about the movie at large as it wrote, “Austin Butler gives a performance worthy of the King, but he’s buried alive under a rhinestone rollercoaster of weak biopic tropes.”
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Elvis’ current rating at review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes stands at a favourable 82 per cent. The film releases in theatres on June 24.