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A 2000 movie starring Russell Crowe

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I'm Not Impressed.

  • Jun 15, 2000
  • by
Pros: Russell Crowe; Beautiful Scenery; Pretty Good Script

Cons: Pacing; Joaquin Phoenix (whom I usually like); Odd Post-Production elements

I heard a lot of mixed reviews before going to this movie with my friend, Jen. My sister and boyfriend loved it. My mother's best friend, however, didn't care for it one bit. Since I had a few free passes and I desperately needed to do something, Jen and I went to see Gladiator.

The story begins at the Battle of Germania, where General Maximus (Russell Crowe)is leading Caesar's troops to victory over those who oppose the expansion of the Roman Empire. Of course, they win. Stuff happens (that I won't give away), and Maximus is called a deserter and sentenced to be executed. More interesting things happen (which, again, I won't give away), and Maximus winds up as a slave.

Proximo buys a bunch of slaves, including Maximus, and trains them to fight in the Arena. Maximus and his partner tap a keg of butt-kicking and obliterate all of the Gladiators. Maximus, now known as the Spaniard, and the rest of Proximo's band of fighters head to Rome, as per the request of Caesar Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix).

Let's talk about the cast. All were great, but everyone, except for Crowe, lacked the flair that the movie needed. If I were to cast this film, I would have cast James Colburn as Proximo, Haley Joel Osmont (and I know it was just a small part) as Lucius, and Jude Law as Commodus. Joaquin Phoenix is a great actor, but he just didn't do it for me in this flick. He was way too whiny and pouty, and I could completely tell that his British accent was faked. (I thought he was going to say, "But, I want a golden ticket now, Daddy!)

The scenery was gorgeous. I just don't understand the symbolism of the wheat in the beginning and end of the movie. Yes, we know that Maximus is a farmer and wants to return to his family, but this was a bit much and a bit out of place. At the end of the movie, you suddenly feel like you're watching a Peter Gabriel music video.

I was disappointed in the special effects that were done. First of all, you could completely tell that some tiger scenes were totally computer generated. Secondly, what was with Maximus floating at the end? It looked like it was taken right out of Army of Darkness or something. Third, I did not like when they altered the hue in the wheat field. It was very distracting, and left a lot of people of the audience thinking, "What the heck?"

Ridley Scott did a good job directing this film. The stunts, particularly the fight scenes, were excellent. I don't know about the post-production, though, who added all of the visual effect components. The pacing of the film would be going great, when it was suddenly stopped with something that didn't exactly fit.

Overall, it was a good movie. Would I recommend this movie to a friend? Sure, if they were watching a matinee or video. Full-priced on a Friday not? I'm afraid not. Maybe next time.


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More Gladiator reviews
review by . September 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
From the moment the movie starts the imagery grabs the audience and draws them in with action.  The movie keeps the audience interested in what is going on with strong performances of Russel Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Neilsen, Djimon Hounsou, and many others.  All emotions were felt as real from the actors.  The fight scenes were filmed showing the power and the emotion of the soldiers, not just the fighting for the sake of it.   Crowe's performance brought me close …
Quick Tip by . July 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This is one of the few that touched my heart to much that it made me cry.
Quick Tip by . June 14, 2010
favorite line: what you do in life echoes in eternity
review by . May 17, 2009
Gladiator is an overrated nightmare. Whoever wrote this screenplay did not research their history very well. The acting was mediocre and it's filled with numerous flaws and wholesale gaps of logic. I hate when film makers do this. Why not make it a farce. People (like me) would have accepted it as such if they did. If you're going to do a report or a research paper on the Roman Empire, you'll fail if you copy from this movie. But, I was impressed with the recreation of the games in the Roman Colosseum.  & …
review by . May 27, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Gladiator is one of my favorite movies. It has action, drama, great cinematography, outstanding fight scenes, love, great acting, and most importantly, it's a great story.For those who haven't seen it I don't want to give away the entire plot. Briefly, Maximus, the virtuous and victorious commander of the Roman army over the Visigoths, is asked by the dying Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, to become the protectorate of Rome upon his death and return the rule of law to the Senate, making Rome once again …
review by . August 12, 2003
My rating indicates my regard for this film in terms of its entertainment value. The plot is essentially uncomplicated and too often predictable. There is almost no character development. And there is only one conflict, really, whose resolution occurs long after the most thrilling action has occurred. However, Russell Crowe's performance as Maximus is (no pun intended) commanding, the special effects are first-rate, and -- from beginning to end -- this film is visually stunning. The plot (such as …
review by . January 27, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Many years ago, Hollywood mass produced epic movies that were not only monuments of spectacle, but also contained meaningful messages that gave films moral magnitude as well. There are several reasons why Hollywood stopped making epic movies and just a few short years ago the great movie epic was said to be dead.Well, the great movie epic is back. It began with BRAVEHEART in 1995 and reached new and different heights with SAVING PRIVATE RYAN in 1998. The tradition coninues with GLADIATOR.GLADIATOR …
review by . March 28, 2001
Gladiator has somehow garnered adulation. It snagged the Oscar for Best Picture (no mean feat), made lots of money, and collected a reasonable share of critical acclaim. But even after watching it (twice), I steadfastly stick to my conclusion that Gladiator is not a great movie...not even a good one.Gladiator holds promise for a heroic story with a liberal dosing of medieval battles. In the end, I am left with a feeling that the film is a blatant retread of Braveheart and other more successful varieties …
review by . February 23, 2001
Goodbye, to another hard hit-negative review. Here is the revision of a review written months ago. Gladiator is a delivery of a story told in the form of many movies, but not in character. Maximus is a man troubled with loves past and desires nothing but to go home once the barbarians are destroyed. Before granting his wish the Emporer asks him to take rule of Rome, Leaving his own son without a throne. Joaquin Pheonix plays a terrific sadistic maniac that would do anything to claim the throne, …
review by . September 07, 2000
Pros: Non-stop action, good plot twists     Cons: Minor plot hicups     The Roman Empire, third and largest of the three ancient Western Empires (Greece and Egypt being the other two), was at a turning point at the time of Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus death in 177 AD (CE). Emperor of the Roman Empire from 161 to 180, Marcus Aurelius (his shortened name), was considered an accomplished leader who was responsible for securing the Roman …
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Candice Cain ()
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I own the Candy Cain Travel Co. in Brookhaven, NY. I am a certified Professional Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants and my agency is certified by IATA and CLIA. I specialize … more
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Ridley Scott (BLADE RUNNER, ALIEN) transports Hollywood to second-century Rome in this rousing historical epic that proudly hearkens back to such films as BEN-HUR and SPARTACUS. Russell Crowe plays Maximus, a Roman general who leads the troops in conquering Germania for the empire. When an aging Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) tells Maximus that he'd like him to rule Rome once he's gone, a classic confrontation ensues between the brave and charming soldier--who wants to return home to his wife, son, and farm--and the jealous and conniving Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the emperor's only son, who is thirsty for power. Bought as a slave by the profiteering Proximo (Oliver Reed, in his last role), Maximus must kill or be killed in the ring, battling to save not only himself but the future of the very empire that he loves and honors. The film features a terrific battle sequence (that recalls the beginning of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN), huge crowd scenes of thousands of people, and even a little romance, albeit mostl...
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