LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 31: Tom Hanks attends the Elvis UK screening at BFI Southbank on May 31, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Lia Toby/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Tom Hanks' Bananas Performance In Elvis Is Good, Actually
Director Baz Luhrmann’s highly anticipated biopic “Elvis” explores one of music’s most iconic figures and the man who revolutionized rock and roll, but it has been met with mixed reviews. While most critics agree that Austin Butler gave a great performance as the titular rock star, they overwhelmingly concluded that Tom Hanks’ portrayal of Colonel Tom Parker was terrible.
Nearly every review criticizes Hanks’ role, with IndieWire calling his take on Parker “possibly the most insufferable movie character ever conceived,” and CNN stating his accent “can at best be described as punishing.” Hanks, who has widely rejected playing movie villains, takes on the role of Presley's shady business manager, who coerces him into decades of overwork and financial abuse.
The Colonel serves as the unreliable narrator trying to rewrite history in his favor, but the pseudo-Dutch accent is as authentic as the villain’s from “Austin Powers: Goldmember,” and the character lacks any charm. Priscilla Presley admitted that the real Colonel could be quite charismatic, but what the audience watched on the screen was a cartoon caricature of the man.
Hanks’ performance was never going to be a realistic depiction of the Colonel, because that’s not what Luhrmann wanted — his villains are literal mustache-twirlers people are encouraged to boo. Behind the ridiculous portrayals of characters like the Colonel is the truth of self-serving motivations and extreme cruelty toward subordinates, which is often the case in the music industry.