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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This version of "The Last of the Mohicans" is unlikely to date all that
much. Although made in the early 1990's, it is set in a time over 200
years before, and captures the era beautifully.
I have always been fascinated by this period of history probably from seeing Spencer Tracy as Robert Rogers in "Northwest Passage" I have read that James Fennimore Cooper partly modelled the character of Hawkeye on Rogers.
In some ways Cooper's book has similarities with Sir Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe", which was published a few years before; outsider hero, women in need of rescue and a ferocious adversary with an eye on the same woman, all set against epic sieges and battles. But Cooper set his story six centuries later during the French and Indian Wars in North America with plumed helmets, chainmail and swords replaced with Mohawk haircuts, breechclouts and tomahawks.
Cecil B DeMille's "Unconquered" is the other big movie set during the period, but it looks pretty clunky when compared to this visual feast as do all the other versions of "The Last of the Mohicans".
Michael Mann's film transports us to another era. It's comforting to know the filmmakers actually found enough wilderness to film in without encountering power towers, amenities blocks and 'Do Not Feed the Bears' signs.
The cast is perfect: Daniel Day-Lewis makes a lean and athletic Hawkeye and Madeleine Stowe as Cora is a heroine you could believe the guys would go that extra yard to save. Wes Studi as Magua is suitably ferocious as just about everybody's enemy.
Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman came up with a memorable, Celtic-flavoured score, which reflected the background of many of the settlers of the time. Celtic music was particularly popular around the 1990s, but I was fascinated to hear this soundtrack album played often by the young people in the office where I worked along with the usual alternative metal, industrial rock and g-funk.
Although the film is obviously meticulously researched, the ear occasionally picks up on a too-modern piece of dialogue, but it's a minor point. The whole thing is such an intriguing, superbly crafted adventure that it just sweeps you along.
It's hard to believe it's almost 25-years old. There really aren't too many films like it these days.
Historical Action/Romance with a powerful visual palette and a stirring
soundtrack make this Michael Mann Film one of His Best. Neither
completely Historically Accurate or faithful to the Literary Source
Material, the Director nevertheless more than makes up for it with
rousing Action Scenes, Poetic (ironically) non-verbal scenes, and tight
pacing and editing.
It's a complete Entertainment awash in the Natural Environment that gives it Gravitas and is so breathtakingly exciting to watch that it encompasses the Viewer and makes clear its Time and Place.
Some may say that it is Ultra-Slick and therefore lacks a certain unscrubbed patina better suited for the Story. But Mann chooses to make it something like a Modern Storybook rather than a Hefty Gritty Novel or a visitation to an Historical Event.
The Cast is superb and engaging on both sides of the issues employed in this Adventure set in Early America. All the Participants, English, French, Native Americans, and Militia are shown in equal light and it makes for an even handed account of the wide-open environment.
Overall, the Cast lead by Daniel Day Lewis and Madeleine Stowe with support from Wes Studi as "Magua" are fine, but it is the Director's Film and He makes the locations come more than Alive and at times it is mesmerizing and surreal, befitting its ethereal ambiance of a Time long past, and blending it with Romantic Imagination and down to Earth Tribal Warfare.
If you want to know what life was really like in the colonial days and the start-up of what we now call The United States, well here it is. Anyone could come out here and settle but making it work was another matter. War, Indians, food, survival and no second chances made it a harsh but as real life as one could have. Earned not given. Outstanding performances by all the players too. Lots of different ranges on the emotions take place here and you go with them too. the music helps that along nicely as you journey with the main players and watch each get what providence and or destiny has in store for them. The ending will cause some strong reflection so pause and allow it do speak to your heart. Recommend quality snack and even a good meal while watching plus a tasty drink too. No cell phones or texting etc. Give in to the movie!
Before Terrence Malick lyrically explored the relationship between settlers, natives and nature in The New World, Michael Mann crafted the emotionally gripping, beautifully feral The Last Of The Mohicans, which to me me is the best film version of Cooper's book. Daniel Day Lewis is a force of nature as Nathaniel Hawkeye, the white man raised by his adoptive Native father (Russell Means) and living in the wild. Madeleine Stowe is a dark haired candle of radiance and fierce spirit as the lovely Cora Munro, brought from the prim, lacy traditions of England out to the wild, uncompromising new land, with her impressionable, naive sister (Jodi May). Wes Studi gives the bitter hearted warrior Magua a steady grace and brutal resolve. The film is lovingly made, and although it drags a tiny bit in the middle with a lengthy battle sequence that although is beautifully done, could have been streamlined a bit. But it's all worth it for those last twenty minutes, man. Holyyy hell does this movie have an ending. When the final, white knuckle climax happens atop the scenic yet unforgiving Promentory Vista, hearts, bones and dreams are broken as all the characters collide in a tragic, inevitable confrontation that leaves fire in your heart and tears in tour eyes. I still cry every time at this sequence, it's that stirring and memorable. James Newton Howard provides a legendary, soul stirring musical score that swells for this end sequence and carries it to transcendent heights. Mann directs with a compassionate, objective eye, never designating anyone as the good or bad guy, but simply showing us human beings, fighting for survival, love and revenge in a land only just being discovered. A real classic and one of the best of the 90's.
Last of The Mohicans is the type of movie that will stay in your memory
after the credits have rolled. The primary aspect of the movie that I
am infatuated with is the score. It is a perfect accompaniment for the
flair and the exuberance that is shown by the characters on screen.
I must confess that the sole reason why I saw this film was to see Daniel Day Lewis. He has given singularly mesmerizing performances in Lincoln, Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood. Here, once again he is in the lead role as the member of a community which is rapidly diminishing due to the ongoing war between the French and the British troops to conquer America. As expected, he is solid and believable in his role.
This movie is not a character based movie due to which no actors were in reckoning for any acting awards. However, the casting was wonderful and there is no weak link in this film. As this is a period drama, the vivacious and opulent sets manage to capture the essence of the era in which the movie is taking place.
I would highly recommend this movie to all movie lovers due to the immensely satisfying conclusion that resolves the story in a fitting manner.
Wow,what more is there to say about this movie? I remember seeing it
once when I was young, but I just watched it again 20+ years later and
it easily is in my top 50 movies all time.
It's easy to get caught up in the hype of Daniel Day Lewis being one the greatest actors to ever step on screen, but this movie embodies so much more than that. Sure, he delivers a classic performance, but the human element, and connection between the natives and nature is superb. Though Dances with Wolves is another great movie in the same genre, Kevin Costner failed to make that distinct connection where Michael Mann. That connection stirred up a number of emotions throughout the film, a true sign of a film that links to the heart and mind.
The scenery and cinematography is gorgeous, as you would expect it to be in a basically unsullied land at that point in history. The score/sound for the movie is unreal also, as illustrated by the academy award win.
Must see, instant classic that I will show my kids and theirs.
Let me start off By saying this was with out a doubt one of the best films I have seen. The acting by Daniel Day Lewis ( Lincoln) was absolutely above broad I enjoyed it form the first moment to the last I was on the edge of my seat. and it was historicity accurate an enjoyable film but NOT for children in any way shape or form way to much violence for any one under 16 and the dialog was very course. But for the high school crowd this could be a good subject matter for history class. the screen play was awesome and the cast was all star. With out a doubt this will go down in history as one of the greatest film of time.
Greetings from Lithuania.
"The Last of the Mohicans" (1992) is a very solid movie on all accounts. It has very solid acting by everyone involved (although Madeleine Stowe British accent appears and reappears suddenly). Great score, great cinematography, sets, and overall production design is great - it really looks like and feels like 18th century. Directing is solid here and script adapted from a novel is engaging and involving.
Overall, "The Last of the Mohicans" is a very good action movie and a period piece. Yes, basically it's an action movie with unusual settings and simple but great and not your typical plot. It's not very deep in historical accuracies or native American culture, but it at least digs into the surroundings deep enough to keep you entertained by also sometimes amazed. At the running time 1 h 50 min this movie never drags and is entertaining and involving from the first 15 min. till the very last end. Solid cinema.
Direction, acting, script, locations, soundtrack, production, all are,
in my opinion outstanding. Based more on the 1936 film than Cooper's
very heavy novel, it's almost faultless. Daniel Day-Lewis is Hawkeye,
Russell Means is Chingachcook. Wes Studi is . . . unbelievably good.
But I can not find one actor in this film who is not worthy.
I think this is Michael Mann's 'Labour of Love' I think it's the film he always wanted to make. When he made it, he made it well.
To me this is the almost perfect film. I could watch this every day for the rest of my life and still not tire of it.
Anyone who does not shed a tear at the end is, simply, not human.
It's a brilliant film.
When Nathaniel hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook come across a ambush, they risk their lives to save Cora, Alice, and Duncan Heyward. Following that, they are yet again thrown into an ambush but survive again. The six hole up in a cave hiding from the Cherokee Indian's but are discovered. They Take Cora, Alice, and Duncan as prisoner. Hawkeye, Uncas,and Chingachgook track them down. Duncan sacrifices himself to save the other five. The Cherokees burn him at the stake, but Hawkeye puts him out of his misery. The five is chased away from the Cherokee settlement and get trapped upon a cliff. Uncas is murdered by Magua, and Alice jumps because she doesn't want to be killed by the hands of magua. Magua is killed, and the move ends. Great score, and overall great film. I highly recommend. RATED R for violence.
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