3000 Miles to Graceland
3000 Miles to Graceland is a 2001 American crime film directed, co-produced by Demian Lichtenstein. The script was written by Richard Recco and Damien Lichtenstein. It stars Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner with supporting roles Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Bokeem Woodbine, Christian Slater, and Kevin Pollak. It is a story of theft and betrayal, revolving around a plot to rob the Riviera Casino during a convention of Elvis impersonators.
|3000 Miles to Graceland|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Demian Lichtenstein|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$18.7 million|
Before the film's opening, Warner Bros. released a series of animated prequels, "The Road to Graceland", voiced by stars Costner, Slater, Long, and Woodbine. The film was panned by the critics and was a box office bomb making only $18.7 million against its $62 million budget. It received five nominations at the 22nd Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Costner), Worst Supporting Actress (Cox), Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple (Russell and either Costner or Cox)
Outside of Las Vegas, Michael Zane, a recent parolee, stops at a run-down desert motel. There, he catches a boy, Jesse, stealing the death's head wheel nuts off his car's wheels and chases him, meeting his mother, Cybil Waingrow, whom he beds. The following morning four men dressed in Elvis costumes arrive to pick him up: Murphy, Hanson, Gus, and Franklin. Together they set off into Vegas to a casino holding an Elvis convention intent on robbing it — dressed as Elvis impersonators. Michael rigs the elevator while the others rob the cages and counting room, and after a long firefight, Franklin is killed during their escape.
Back at the motel, Hanson starts an argument about who gets Franklin's share and Murphy shoots and kills Hanson. Michael hides the money in the crawl space, unaware that Jesse is observing him from the next room. The three thieves drive out to the middle of the desert to bury Hanson. Offscreen, Murphy shoots Gus and Michael as well. It is later revealed that Michael was wearing a bulletproof vest and played dead. He starts running back to the motel hoping to get there before Murphy does. Driving from the scene, Murphy hits a coyote, skids off the road, and is knocked unconscious after crashing his car.
Michael gets back to the motel. Discovering the money is missing, he storms into Cybil's place and finds the money where Jesse has hidden it. Michael gives Cybil $100,000 in exchange for her silence, but is eventually manipulated into taking Cybil and Jesse along with him.
Michael explains to Cybil that the money is marked, but that Murphy has found a money launderer in Idaho to help them. Murphy, who has since returned to the motel and discovered that the money is missing, has decided to go to Idaho to wait for them. Cybil sneaks away from Michael and her son at a restaurant, stealing Michael's wallet and car. Cybil calls the money launderer, using the password that she has extracted from Michael's wallet. Murphy suddenly appears at the money launderer, Peterson, (Jon Lovitz), using the same password. Peterson explains that Cybil called first, so they wait for her.
Finally, Cybil arrives, and finds only Murphy, whom she assumes is Peterson. Soon afterwards, Michael and Jesse, who have been stealing money and cars to survive, arrive and find Peterson and his secretary dead in the bathroom. Realizing that Murphy killed the two and remembering that Murphy is driving Michael's car, Michael reports his car stolen. Murphy is then arrested. However, Michael is arrested as well when police discover that Michael is also driving a stolen car. The men are then put in adjoining cells and the two have a confrontation.
Michael makes bail, thanks to Jesse, who hired a lawyer, under the agreement that Michael make him his partner. Murphy calls a man named Jack (Howie Long) and arranges to get out as well. Michael, who has been allowed to retrieve his car, finds Cybil tied up and gagged in the trunk. Murphy makes bail and is picked up by a passerby while hitchhiking, he then kills the man and takes his clothes and vehicle. Murphy sees Cybil and Jesse pass by in a car. He runs them off the road, and grabs Jesse, to hold as collateral, telling Cybil to find Michael and the money. Cybil finds Michael and begs him to help her. After initially disbelieving her, Michael decides to help her, reporting Murphy to the authorities.
Murphy has met up with Jack, who has enlisted the help of a shadowy figure named Hamilton (Ice-T). Michael appears with the money and convinces Murphy to hand Jesse over. Just as Murphy realizes that Michael tricked him by replacing the money with cut up newspaper, he is stung by a scorpion that Michael hid in the bag. Suddenly, a SWAT team surround the warehouse. Murphy puts his hands up, but quickly grabs a nearby shotgun and shoots Michael. A gunfight ensues; Jack and Hamilton are killed. Murphy, getting weaker from the scorpion sting, refuses to lose, and he is shot and killed by the police. Michael is rushed by ambulance to the nearest hospital. However, the ambulance is stolen by Cybil and Jesse. It's then revealed that Michael, once again, wore a bulletproof vest, and is only slightly injured.
At the end, Michael, Cybil and Jesse are in Michael's boat. Michael tells the story of the Elvis Presley estate including a small inheritance to people proven by DNA to be illegitimate offspring of Elvis, and how so many people tried to claim it, and only very few were actually confirmed as his children. He tells them he inherited his boat, "Graceland", from his father, who is implied to be Elvis Presley.
The film's title is a reference to Elvis Presley's residence, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee. While attempting to capture Thomas J. Murphy, the U.S. Marshals (correctly) believe he is attempting to cross the border into Canada somewhere through Washington/Idaho/Montana, a distance which (as stated by U.S. Marshal Quigley) is "3000 miles to Graceland." Michael also seeks to escape by crossing the border into Canada through Washington.
- Kurt Russell as Michael Zane
- Kevin Costner as Thomas J. Murphy
- Courteney Cox as Cybil Waingrow
- Christian Slater as Hanson
- Kevin Pollak as U.S. Marshal Damitry
- David Arquette as Gus
- Jon Lovitz as Jay Peterson
- Howie Long as Jack
- Thomas Haden Church as U.S. Marshal Quigley
- Bokeem Woodbine as Franklin
- Ice-T as Hamilton
- David Kaye as Jesse Waingrow
- Louis Lombardi as Otto Sinclair
- Paul Anka as Pit Boss #1
- Daisy McCrackin as Megan
3000 Miles to Graceland received mostly negative reviews by critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 14% of critics gave the film a positive review based on a sample of 96 reviews, with an average score of 3.5/10, with the consensus; "While the premise sounds promising, the movie turns out to be a tedious and unnecessarily violent heist movie that's low on laughs and leaves no cliche unturned." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 from reviews by mainstream critics, gave the film rating of 21/100 based on 30 reviews.
The film was a box office bomb. It opened at #3 at the North American box office, earning US$7,160,521 in its opening weekend behind Down to Earth and Hannibal. It later ultimately grossed just over $18 million domestically, well below its $62 million budget. The film eventually became profitable because of its strong international numbers and DVD sales.
The film was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Costner), Worst Supporting Actress (Cox), Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Couple (Russell and either Costner or Cox) but failed to win any of those categories. The film was also nominated for five Stinkers Bad Movie Awards including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Costner), Worst Supporting Actress, Most Annoying Fake Accent – Female (Cox), and Most Annoying On-Screen Group (The Elvis Impersonators) but failed to win any of those categories.
- "Killing Time" by Hed PE
- "It's Gonna Kill Me" by Filter
- "Bleeder" by Nothingface
- "Mansion on the Hill" by Alabama 3
- "Smartbomb" by BT
- "In 2 Deep" by Kenny Wayne Shepherd
- "Who's Your Uncle?" by Uncle Kracker
- "Come in Hard" by Hardknox
- "New Disease" by Spineshank
- "Angel Dust" by Bender
- "Vapor Trail" by The Crystal Method
- "Loaded Gun" by Hednoize
- "Franklin's Requiem" by George S. Clinton
- "Such a Night" by Elvis Presley
- "Box Office Total". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
- Rotten Tomatoes
- "2001 24th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinkers Awards". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 4, 2007. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- "Three Thousand Miles to Graceland – Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved December 20, 2011.