Friday, 13 February 2015

The Last American Elvis


Directed by: Dominique E. Othenin-Girard
Written by: Dale Trevllion
Starring: William Forsythe, Kari Wuhrer, Leo Rossi, Sharon Farrell & Dennis Hayden

A wannabe cool crime thriller from a time in the 90s when every director and his brother were trying to make a cool Tarantino/indie type film, The Last American Elvis (or Beyond Desire to give it its original title) would like you to think it’s a cool (man that’s a lot of cools!) drama/thriller akin to something like Wild at Heart or True Romance but really it’s just another B-movie action film of the look and type that were produced by the hundreds in the 90s (and the type of which this lowly, and very uncool, reviewer loves and usually laps up!). Unfortunately, it disappointingly forgets to bring the action and instead focuses on a muddled crime story, a would-be Elvis aficionado (complete with working Elvis song titles into the dialogue: groan!) and a whole lot of not-very cool-criminal-posing rubbish. Two things save it from bargain basement oblivion: a very cool red corvette and the always awesome, beautiful and in this case very energetic Kari Wuhrer: cool.

It’s the predictable story of William Forsythe’s Elvis loving wannabe getting out of prison after a 14 year stint for a crime he didn’t commit (yawn!) and speedily shacks up with Wuhrer’s blonde bombshell/femme fatale, who may or may not be on the take. Factor in Leo Rossi’s ridiculous crime boss (who seems to have walked in off the set of some mafia parody movie!), the quest for some missing loot, a ton of sex and nudity, a smidgen of gunplay action and all the cool posing, kooky camera angles and 90s crime quirkiness you can cram into 80mins and you have yourself a cheap jack pulp crime noir.

Director Dominique E. Othenin-Girard (of Halloween 5 and Omen 4 fame) tries his best to make things, ahem, cool and interesting on a limited budget but with Forsythe’s character coming across more as an obnoxious burke than a slick Elivs loving anti-hero, the predictability of the whole scenario, forced (and now dated sounding) “edgy” dialogue and the lack of anything really happening until the couple of decent shootouts in the finale, mean one will just be waiting until the next Kari Wuhrer scene of nudity: which thankfully there is an abundance of. To be fair, the flick is quite racy for a mid 90s low budget action thriller and while she does get nude quite a bit, Wuhrer also injects the film with energy and edginess it lacks everywhere else. As well as being lovely to look at, Wuhrer is a gifted (and underrated) actress and acts everyone else off the screen here.

Meh, it was ok.


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