Tom Hanks in “Elvis” could be the start of the actor’s flop era

Tom Hanks is considered to be the most popular Everyman actor in the world.

His leading appearances in films such as Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, The soldier James Ryanand Throw away were so powerful because he created an umbilical cord between the film and its audience. Thanks to Hanks’ warmth, charm and belonging, viewers could imagine themselves as his characters and therefore just as easily imagined overcoming the obstacles that Forrest, Andrew Beckett, Captain John H. Miller and Chuck Noland had to endure.

I doubt most people will find anything comparable – or redeemable – about Colonel Tom Parker, Hanks’ character elvis. While he helped Elvis Presley’s popularity skyrocket across the country and then the world, so much so that he became the best-selling solo artist in music history, Parker’s unethical dealings with the icon resulted in him earning at least half of Elvis’ income throughout his career.

elvis is also unlike any film Hanks has been in before. Director Baz Luhrmann’s jukebox extravaganza is bizarre, ridiculous, and captivating, often all at once. But while Austin Butler is destined to be a huge star thanks to his titular performance, it’s Hanks’ bloated but flashy Parker who symbolizes everything that’s right and wrong about the film.

Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks, left) and Elvis Presley (Austin Butler) chat about the crooner’s career on a Ferris wheel. It’s one of many scenes in which Hanks forces us to put up with his raspy, vaguely Eastern European accent.

Warner Bros.

Hanks’ fat suit, fake nose, and hybrid double chin/turkey neck as Parker are what moviegoers will likely notice first. Not only does he look like a cross between Gollum, a toad, and Mr. Burns The simpsonsbut he also behaves as such, since he is manipulating Elvis’ career and fortune for his own benefit.

The scariest thing about Hanks’ portrayal of Parker is his voice. Parker was born on June 26, 1909 in Breda, The Netherlands, and immigrated to the United States illegally at the age of 20. Hanks gives the character a vaguely European touch that constantly distracts from what he’s actually saying.

We also hear a lot about this twang. While the film celebrates Presley’s music and talent, elvis is told from Parker’s point of view. Hanks narrates the film in a voiceover so unsettling and Machiavellian it sounds like a cartoon villain telling the world how he committed the perfect crime.

Many critics have criticized Hanks’ performance as Parker. It has been called “creepy”, “the worst of his career” and a “complete misstep”. He was even compared to Austin Powers’ Gold Member.

But while all of those viewpoints could be valid, Hanks also deserves some credit for delivering an erratic punch to a character who’s the opposite of his typical roles. If he had played Parker in a more traditional and conventional way, chances are Hanks is now eyeing his next Oscar nomination. The academy just can’t resist rewarding mainstream actors who morph into real people like Will Smith King RichardRami Maleks Bohemian Rhapsody, and Gary Oldmans darkest hour Oscar wins prove. Co-star Austin Butler, who plays Elvis himself, instead basks in the praise all alone.

With the two-time best actor winner turning 66 on July 9, Hanks seems to care a lot less if the roles he’s taking on match the role the world keeps throwing him in as Hollywood’s nicest guy Has. Instead, he now seems to just take on what he enjoys most – whether critics or viewers will agree or not.

Why else would someone like Tom Hanks humiliate himself in a thankless, vicious role like Colonel Tom Parker? As terrible as the performance of Hanks and elvis Overall, it turned out that he got to mess around as a cheesy villain. If that didn’t lead to some great acting, at least he was probably having a great time.

In retrospect, the signs of Hanks’ shift in priorities toward passionate projects rather than awards or recognition have actually been there for a number of years.

2016, sully was a big, typical Hanks hit, but Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson also found time to produce the very goofy, mostly forgotten track My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. The following year ended with applause for his role in Steven Spielberg’s The postbut began with mockery for his film The circle. In the adaptation by Dave Eggers, starring Emma Watson, Hanks played a coolly manipulative Silicon Valley-type villain.

After a quiet 2018 and only two (very familiar) roles in 2019 – in toy story 4the least important entry in the Pixar franchise, and its respected levy A nice day in the neighborhood—2020 marked a shift.

That year he wrote and starred in the World War II submarine action film greyhound, a film that had been in the works for nearly a decade. While it wasn’t badly received, it didn’t have much of an impact. The same goes for his other 2020 film, Western Drama News from all over the worldand the dystopian story of 2021 finch.

What Hanks is getting the most press for lately is his self-deprecating or just plain weird appearances. His lively cameo appearance Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which poked fun at his infamous COVID diagnosis, was considered one of the film’s best cameos. (Borat spits on Tom Hanks, which the movie implies is what COVID gives the actor.) It was a surprising, brave moment for the actor, especially since we’re still figuring out how to joke about COVID.

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Remember finch? Of course not!

Amblin Entertainment/Apple, Inc.

But most memorable was when Hanks had a rare podcast appearance this past March. He had a charming, informative, and refreshingly candid discussion of his professional failures on comedian Connor Ratliff’s show “Dead Eyes.” The podcast’s premise is particularly low-key: Hanks allegedly fired Ratliff from the 2001 HBO miniseries band of brothers for having “dead eyes”. Ratliff dedicated the podcast to asking why — and ideally with Hanks to explain himself. That Ratliff had landed his great white whale for the show was big news because we’re not used to Hanks being a villain in anyone else’s real-life story, nor admitting it.

Hanks used this discussion to apologize to Ratliff. But even then, Hanks showed more poignancy than usual when he said the crew member who told Ratliff about his “dead eye” comment “should get his kneecaps broken.” Violent! That level of aggression may not have been an isolated incident, either: Just two weeks ago, Hanks defied his nice guy image again when he told a mob of fans to “fuck off” after tripping up his wife, Rita Wilson .

There are a few more chances for Hanks to shock, surprise, and even anger viewers before the end of 2022.

In September he will be starring as Geppetto in Robert Zemeckis’ live-action remake of Robert Zemeckis Pinocchio. The film’s first trailer suggests that Hanks has grown very big and very brave with his performance, just like he did with Parker. He even seems to channel Lady Gaga and Jared Leto’s offbeat and borderline obnoxious Italian accent House of Gucci. Also, the last time Zemeckis and Hanks teamed up for a movie, we got really scared polar express.

in the A man named Otto, due out for Christmas, will see Hanks play a misanthropic widower who judges everyone he sees. If that isn’t unusually dark enough, Hanks’ character repeatedly attempts suicide in the 2015 Swedish film it’s based on.

My dream is that Hanks will continue to move towards extremes and let Mr. Nice Guy down. He could take inspiration from Nicolas Cage and provide a meta shot of his sympathy in terms of The unbearable weight of massive talent. Or Hanks could even follow the path of Keanu Reeves or Liam Neeson, and we’ll see him seek revenge in his own action film a la John Wick or out of stock

Whatever happens, even if the mistakes are as bad as Hanks’ Parker elvis, it’s still exciting to see one of the most loveable actors of the last 40 years working without a safety net. Let’s hope the naysayers don’t convince him to return to normal anytime soon.

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