3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) (part 7 of 8)

Michael gets his Caddy back, and in a shot that is so blatantly ripped off from Pulp Fiction it makes me wonder if the director has ever had an original idea in his life, Michael opens the trunk and finds Cybil still alive. She is bound and—best of all—gagged. Thankfully, Michael gives me a brief glimmer of hope by silently slamming the trunk closed on her. Now, if he could just find a deep river, my life would be complete.

I’m sure some of you are wondering why I don’t question the fact that the cops didn’t already search the trunk and find Cybil. To that, I say refer to my earlier stuttering analogy. That, or you could just infer the cops did find her and decided to just leave her there. Actually, the second thought is a rather nice one, to tell you the truth.

3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) (part 7 of 8)

Pulp what? Quentin who? Never heard of it!

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Michael gets back in the car, and in a subtle, sensitive manner, reports the news of Cybil’s status as an oxygen breather to Jesse.

Michael: I got good news and bad news. The good news is your mom is in the trunk.
Jesse: What’s the bad news?
Michael: She’s alive.

We abruptly cut to a miscellaneous field, where Michael lets Cybil out of the trunk. There’s the standard soppy reunion between mother and son, though the kid should be rightly pissed off by now at being left behind.

Happily, Michael tears Cybil a new one for this and then some. He calls her basically everything I’ve already said, only tossing in a bit more profanity, and finishing off with slamming her for leaving her child with a stranger. Cybil fires back with the lame retort that she didn’t leave Jesse with a stranger, “I left him with you!”

Um, Cybil? Generally speaking, having a couple of quick humps with somebody and a cup of coffee don’t really equate with “knowing” that person.

Remarkably, the director reveals that even he doesn’t know how he wants us to feel about Cybil, because she then confesses she ripped off Michael and palmed Jesse off on him because she was afraid Michael wouldn’t stay. Alright, that makes about as much sense as anything else in the film (i.e., none). I’m realizing this movie is probably the first in history where the most likable character is the psychopathic Elvis fan who kills people randomly.

Anyway, they decide to switch cars, and in an appalling moment, the classic Caddy goes into a river. This is appalling because Cybil and Jesse aren’t locked in the trunk.

We cut to the police station in Nevada as Damitry and Quigley discover that Murphy has turned up in Boise. Naturally, there’s a jarring cut to Murphy hitchhiking at night on the highway, eventually to be picked up by an old guy who’s a huge fan of the Walla Walla Wombats.

If this is a real team, let me say two things. And please, if you’re a fan, take them in the humorous spirit in which they’re intended. First off, your mascot sucks. Second, you really should consider suing the filmmakers for making your fans out to be as nutty as this old guy.

3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) (part 7 of 8)

Murphy finally locates the one man on earth dressed worse than he is.

We go from Wacky Wombat World to a motor court, where there’s more flash cuts of our Heroic Trio entering and putting the money in a suitcase. Meanwhile, my eyeballs explode, causing the veins in my head to erupt. Okay, maybe not that last part, but it was pretty damn close, I tell you. Damn close.

We’re then treated to a montage that consists solely of the three characters looking at each other. Yep, that’s it. No dialogue, no story progression, nothing. Just pure dead silence.

Note to Mr. Lichtenstein: Ingmar Bergman could get away with this because he was Ingmar Bergman.

3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) (part 7 of 8)

Kurt Russell thinks, “This film is a hunka, hunka burnin’ crap.”

3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) (part 7 of 8)

Cybil listens to the voices in her head. Today, they’re exchanging casserole recipes.

3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) (part 7 of 8)

“Hmm, how can I be even more unlikable?”

From this riveting bit of cinema, it’s back to the Boise police station as our two rugged deputy marshals head towards the entrance. Inside, the sheriff apologizes for letting Murphy go, while Quigley has a blank, mildly psychotic look in his eyes. He insults the sheriff, gets a positive ID on Murphy, and walks over to a map with Damitry where this exchange occurs.

Damitry: So, what are you thinking?
Quigley: I’m thinking it’s at least three thousand miles to Graceland, so I want to catch this asshole before he jumps the border to Canada.

Okay, what? That’s a new take on geography for me. You heard it right here, folks. If I’m deciphering this dialogue correctly, the way to get to Graceland these days is to go through Canada. Would that be the overland route there, Demian? What happened, bud? Did the same guy who taught you the birds and the bees also throw in a geography lesson before going back to trying to hump his own leg?

Jesus! This film is dumb in ways that haven’t even been charted yet!

We rejoin Murphy and Wacky Wombat Guy as they encounter a police roadblock. After a bit of back and forth, Murphy throws the old guy in back of the van. He either kills him, or judging by the way the van is seen rocking back and forth, dry humps him to death.

In a shot that must make Kevin Costner pray the guy who talked him into this film would die a horrible death, Murphy pops back up dressed in the old guy’s getup. Also, a little later we’ll see he’s put on the guy’s face paint [??]. Mind you, this happens in all of roughly ten seconds, which means Murphy might actually be a T-1000. Sorry, but thinking of better movies helps soothe the pain of this one. Anyhow, Murphy bluffs his way through the roadblock by being thoroughly loud and obnoxious.

3000 Miles to Graceland (2001) (part 7 of 8)

“Ah hell, I didn’t need that dignity or self respect, anyway!”

There’s even more headache-inducing flash cuts (people with epilepsy must love this goddamn film) as the Heroic Trio exit the motor court. A taxi waits and Michael reveals he’s going to sail away on his boat anchored at Mt. Vernon.

Cybil gives him the money, and all of a sudden wants to marry him. Oh geez, just make this short. Dear God, just make it short. They get into an annoying psychobabble-filled argument about how it’s not Cybil that Michael is afraid to trust, but himself. Actually, Cybil, I’d say it’s really you he can’t trust. Sorry, babe. Well, not “sorry” in the literal sense. More like “sorry” that I had to watch Courteney Cox-Arquette emote.

Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)

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  • Moo Dang

    Murphy’s leather jacket is bad ass…