Gladiator

0
0
Subscribe to Russell Crowe alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 155 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th May 2000

Box Office USA: $187.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $457.6M

Budget: $103M

Distributed by: Dreamworks Distribution LLC

Production compaines: DreamWorks SKG, MCA/Universal Pictures, Scott Free Productions, Mill Film, C & L, Dawliz, Red Wagon Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Fresh: 132 Rotten: 41

IMDB: 8.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: David H. Franzoni, ,

Starring: Russell Crowe as Maximus, Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus, Connie Nielsen as Lucilla, Oliver Reed as Proximo, Richard Harris as Marcus Aurelius, Derek Jacobi as Gracchus, Djimon Hounsou as Juba, David Schofield as Falco, John Shrapnel as Gaius, Tomas Arana as Quintus, Ralf Möller as Hagen, Tommy Flanagan as Cicero, Spencer Treat Clark as Lucius, David Hemmings as Cassius, Sven-Ole Thorsen as Tigris, Giannina Facio as Maximus' Wife, Alun Raglan as Praetorian Guard #1

Gladiator Movie Review


"Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?" Hey, who doesn't!?

The awe-inspiring trailers for Gladiator may have you dreaming of Spartacus and Ben-Hur, but you may be surprised to find this film in reality a less palatable mélange of Braveheart and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. This isn't altogether a bad thing, but those expecting a new Roman epic that will stand the test of time (like Spartacus and Ben-Hur) are in for some surprises.

The currently hot Russell Crowe stars as Maximus, "the general who became a slave" who begins the film as a commander so high in the echelons of the Roman army that the aging Caesar Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) hand-picks him to become the next Caesar... instead of his own son Commodus (not pronounced Commode-us, played by Joaquin Phoenix).

Joaquin Phoenix's appearance in a movie always means trouble, and sure enough, dad is soon dead, Commodus is Emperor, and Maximus is off to execution. It's a roundabout road (that lasts 150 minutes) to get from general to slave and slave to gladiator. From there, Maximus ends up in Rome at the Colosseum (you know: The Colosseum), threatening to overthrow the Emperor and return power to the Republic. And here we are, 1600 years before the American Revolution.

Gladiator's finest hour comes when the gladiating begins (though this is a good 60 minutes into the picture). And we are talking serious carnage. Bloodletting. Decapitations. People severed in two. Dirty fighting. Joey would like this movie.

Shot in an aggressive yet vaguely annoying chop-chop style, Gladiator borrows heavily from the camera style Spielberg used in Saving Private Ryan's battle scenes: Print every other frame of film twice, and run at regular speed. This casts everything in a dreamlike quality, which sometimes works in the film but gets old due to overuse and overall poor lighting.

Then there's the chit-chat of Gladiator's "plot," a threadbare bit of political intrigue, with Commodus worried sick about Maximus's rise to popularity via the mob crowds at the pit, Connie Nielsen's Lucilla (Commodus's sister), also worried sick in fear that her son will be killed... blah blah blah. I zoned out whenever one of these weepy people took the stage, waiting for the fighting to start again. You know, with the chariots! And the tigers!

There's something Jerry Springeresque about Gladiator, but Crowe lends a lot of legitimacy to the proceedings. Less effective is Phoenix, who invites you to believe he is an actual Emperor of Rome. This turns out to be impossible, as Phoenix comes across as, well, River Phoenix's little brother. There's also the little issue that Gladiator stretches the boundaries of "historical fiction" to new and impossible lengths, which almost goes without saying. Almost.

The new three-disc DVD set is exhaustive and exhausting, with a new, 17-minute-longer cut of the film anchoring the set that includes Russell Crowe's first ever commentary track. Oddly, director Ridley Scott all but disowns the cut -- saying the original theatrical cut is "the director's cut" (it's also included here). A 200-minute making-of documentary fills up one disc, and a third disc of various extras (storyboards, costume designs, more deleted scenes, and so on) round out the box set.

Let the squealing begin.


Contactmusic

0
0
Subscribe to Russell Crowe alerts

Comments

Gladiator Rating

" OK "

Advertisement

More Russell Crowe

Entourage Trailer

After making a name for themselves in Hollywood, Vincent Chase and his entourage of friends from Queens have finally made a movie. The only problem...

HAERTS - Interview Video

Brooklyn band Haerts released their self-titled debut album this year, and here they talk about how they first got into music, their lifelong friendship and...

Mark Ronson - Daffodils ft. Kevin Parker [Audio] Video

Mark Ronson will finally unveil his fourth album 'Uptown Special' on January 26th 2015 through his new label deal with Sony Music. He has teamed...

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin [Live] Video

Meghan Trainor performs her latest single 'Lips Are Movin' at one of her favourite places in the world: an aquarium. The song features, alongside smash...

Advertisement

Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire [Live] Video

Live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta, Bastille perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire', the final single from their debut album...

Bastille - Oblivion [Live] Video

Bastille perform their single 'Oblivion' live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta. The track followed Platinum hit 'Of The Night' and featured...

HAERTS - Be The One [Live] Video

Haerts perform an intimate live rendition of their song 'Be The One', taken from their self-titled debut album released in October 2014 through Columbia Records....

ScHoolboy Q - Hell Of A Night Video

ScHoolboy Q released his first number one with third album 'Oxymoron', and he now unveils the video to its latest single 'Hell Of A Night'...

Advertisement