Elvis Gratton 3: Le retour d’Elvis Wong (2004)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Elvis Gratton 3: Le retour d’Elvis Wong</strong> (2004)

(In French, On TV, January 2019) By the time you’re creating a third instalment in a series, either you know enough to make it work, or the entire thing has degenerated in a painful copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy. Elvis Gratton 3: Le retour d’Elvis Wong falls squarely in the second scenario, as it has become a simply grotesque collection of episodes featuring the Elvis Gratton character going through writer/director Pierre Falardeau’s usual pet peeves and comic crutches. This time around, Gratton becomes (with a bit of help from American clichés) a rock star, a cultural sensation and ultimately a media mogul. The pale imitation of the previous two movies’ gags is egregious, and the constant references to then-hip pop and political culture makes the film feel incredibly more dated than many older titles. (Especially in hammering on Chrétien-era Federal Liberals—give it a rest, Falardeau.) While I do share many of Faladreau’s concerns about media manipulation and control, I can’t stand the incredibly blunt and simplistic way he goes about it in this film. The added cabotinage from writer/actor Julien Poulain as Gratton is increasingly annoying and the result is not fun, not funny and not as subversive as it thinks. Elvis Gratton 3: Le retour d’Elvis Wong’s herky-jerky narrative rhythm doesn’t help, and neither does Falardeau’s surprisingly amateurish direction, considering that he was capable of far better. But the Gratton series has always been a cash cow for him, so maybe it wasn’t surprising to see the result of this third instalment.

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