Viva Las Vegas Reviews
The plot is unbelievably one dimensional basically a race car driver (Elvis) trying to woo Ann Magaret with occasional unesscery musical numbers.
A perfect example of a typical Hollywood Crowd Pleaser that I'm sure will appeal to Elvis Fans. It's fun fast & cheeky.
Elvis plays Lucky, a race car driver who's in Las Vegas to compete in the Vegas Grand Prix. He needs a new engine but is strapped for cash due to contrived reasons. He falls for Rusty (Ann-Margret) who seems to be abruptly against his racing ways.
This movie is all over the place. About halfway through it becomes disjointed, making it obvious what its purpose is. For a pointless, plotless story, it's way too convoluted.
For an 84 minute film, it takes its sweet time, attempting to thin itself out to cover the short runtime. But then, once it realizes it's home free, the story progresses ridiculously fast and things never get resolved.
Elvis and Ann-Margret have undeniable chemistry, but their depth is almost non-existent. Lucky's motivations are unclear, and Rusty goes from a likable, independent worker woman at the beginning of the film to an incompetent bimbo by the end.
The songs and dance numbers are impressively catchy, but that's all this movie is. The few glamorous Las Vegas shots are nice, but there aren't nearly enough in a movie with the city's name in the title. It almost seems like a blown opportunity to make a cool story about gambling or mobsters. Instead, it's about racing--something few of us think of when talking about Vegas.
It's a dated movie, but that's perhaps the best thing this film has to offer. There are some cool shots of the Vegas of yesteryear. There's one in particular showing the front of the Flamingo as it used to be--alone, with nothing on either side. Contrastingly, we get a shot of Fremont Street in all its garish glory--busy and crowded, sans the 1,500 foot canopy movie screen overhead. While watching this, my fiancée turns to me and says, "You used to be able to drive down Fremont Street???" My, how things have changed.
Twizard Rating: 57
Few musicians have made it as big as Elvis Presley - there are only a handful that can admit that they've had a successful music career, a profitable acting streak, and have remained as globally recognizable as Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, or, to be broader than broad, God himself. By casually uttering the word "Elvis," you evoke a tidal wave of feelings. For most, he's a hero, a connoisseur of jubilant sentimentality. We don't automatically think of 1977 Elvis, fat, pill-addicted, hopeless and dying - we think of Jailhouse Rock Elvis, Viva Las Vegas Elvis, In the Ghetto Elvis. In 1964, did people realize just how much of an impact he would still make 50+ years later?
"Viva Las Vegas" is certainly his finest hour in film. It epitomizes everything we love about him, but it also stands alone as a better than average movie musical. It bursts with color and talent, and has a rock 'n' roll edge that makes it a hell of a lot less annoying than those clichéd romps than make sure to have at least one dramatic scene where a character sits by a windowsill and pours their heart out to no one.
Presley plays Lucky Jackson, a race car-driver aiming to compete in the Las Vegas Grand Prix. Coming from Los Angeles, he has all the materials needed to become a champion except for (a) a new motor, and (b) a girl to wear on his arm when he receives the grand prize. But people named Lucky Jackson don't walk around only to discover that they are actually unlucky and should instead be referred to as Unlucky Jackson; since they look like Elvis and have Elvis' talent, they, more often than not, will find a way to buy a new motor and win an all-American girl.
The skirt of Part B doesn't take too long to track down and ultimately chase. It belongs to Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret), a shapely swimming instructor who isn't just a swimming instructor but is also a singer, dancer, and, as we discover in a locale jumping courtship montage, an excellent shot. She has it all. Lucky wants Rusty, and Rusty wants Lucky. Could things be better?
Enter Conflict #1: Lucky accidentally loses all the money that would have paid for his car engine, forcing him to become a waiter at the same hotel Rusty works for (though you would think that, at some point, Lucky would realize his immense singing talent and ditch his foremost ambitions). Enter Conflict #2: Rusty is so frightened by the idea of the dangers of race-car driving that she presents Lucky with an ultimatum - he can pick racing or he can pick her, but he certainly can't have both.
If "Viva Las Vegas"' story sounds clichéd, then maybe that's a good thing. It isn't the story that matters. What matters is Presley and Ann-Margret, and the way Sidney frames them in every shot. Presley has acted with Nancy Sinatra, Mary Tyler Moore, and Ursula Andress, but no one matches his universal appeal as well as Margret. With her flaming red hair and larger-than-life personality, she is less of a love interest and more of a force of nature, sometimes so off-the-walls that she upstages Presley himself. Their chemistry is so powerful that if one is alone in a scene, it doesn't bear that same energy that fills the room when they're together. Sidney drenches "Viva Las Vegas" in a visual style that is almost deliberately artificial: the clothing is only ever hued with loud primary colors, the lighting sometimes resembles a stage show brightened by traffic lights, and the scenery looks like something out of a brochure. But all the glistening duplicity makes the film even more confident and self-aware - it doesn't feel like an average Elvis vehicle because it has a nailed down tone and look that gives it an irrepressibly specific temperament.
With 12 songs on the soundtrack to boot, it's impossible for "Viva Las Vegas" to lose. Can anything this much fun, with Elvis Presley at its center, really lose? Repeat after me: No! No.
This is movie is one of Elvis Presley's bad movies from the early 1960's. The only hit song from the movie was the title song. They only used it three times. It's used once in the opening credits, once about two thirds of the way through and then in the closing credits. It's a musical with the character's singing for no reason. They do show Las Vegas the way it was in the 1960's before all the old hotels were torn down. Ann-Margret looks good. The story has two parts, the love triangle between Elvis, Ann-Margret, and Cesare Donova who plays an Italian race car driver, and the car race at the end of the move. It's a typical Hollywood car race where everybody crashes except the hero. Somehow Elvis with out any money enters a car and wins the race. In the real world car races are sponsored by several corporations that plaster their ads all over the cars. This movie is just a musical fairy tale.
Plot is fairly basic and weak. Music is hit-and-miss: some songs are pretty lame, but then there are some pretty good ones, including the title track, which is great. However, the movie is fast-paced and this makes up for the weak story. It never drags for a moment.
As mentioned, Ann-Margret is the ultimate star of the show, and not necessarily for her acting. Stunningly beautiful.
Elvis puts in a decent performance. He wasn't just there for his singing.