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Hidalgo
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Hidalgo More at IMDbPro »

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80 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

Old Style Entertainment...

8/10
Author: Henry Fields (kikecam@teleline.es) from Spain
10 October 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the age of Matrix, I Robot, A.I., Minority Report, etcetera. ain't easy to find adventure-movies made in the old style: the good guy, the very bad guy, the girl, and a happy ending ... Well, this is what Hidalgo offers us.

Viggo Mortensen's character is a cowboy specializing in long distance horse races, he and his horse (Hidalgo, a Mustang) are just unbeatable. So some arabian skeikh (Omar Sharif) sends for him to take part in the biggest horse race in the world (4.800km long, through the Arabian desert) to prove that Mortensen's non-thoroughbred horse is not as good and resistant as arabian horses. That's the starting point. And from that moment on we will witness a marvelous adventure through the desert in which the starring will have to face all kind of difficulties and traps. As I've said: and old style adventure movie. No absurd and meaningless special effects, no absurd and unbelievable plots, and no pretensions but to make the audience have a good time. And no doubt Joe Johnston achieves that: the movie is 136 minutes long but you don't feel tired nor boring in any moment. The rhythm is just great and well measured. The photography and the landscapes are just astonishing; and the work of Mortensen is so remarkable. He seems to be the perfect heir to those actors specializing in adventure movies just like Harrison Ford, though Mortensen's characters (Hidalgo, LOTR) usually are a little more darker than Ford's.

My rate: 8/10

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89 out of 110 people found the following review useful:

Enjoy this one!

Author: rrsanchez from Safford, AZ
18 August 2004

I've read some pretty disparaging comments about this movie that make me wonder what on earth was so bad? Let's see, there were objections over the predictability of the plot, the stereotyping, the music and on and on. People need to relax and enjoy this movie as entertainment only. I personally thought it was one of the nicest new releases I'd seen.

I know this was another movie about the underdog winning against all odds but I like this kind of movie. I thought the screenplay was admirable in it's restraint not having the main character even kiss the two women involved. The music was very moving and beautiful.

Perhaps some people have become so jaded that a movie simply isn't complete unless there's a helicopter chase, an exploding car or two (or in this case, a wagon), a trip to the nearby strip club with the flashing lights(where all characters in search of answers seem to end up at), gratuitous sex scenes, oh yeah, don't forget to use the 'F' word and while we're at it: let take God's name in vain a few times for the sake of 'realism'.

Hollywood needs to make more movies like this.

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89 out of 117 people found the following review useful:

This is a film that I could watch almost any time.

10/10
Author: walter-87785774 from United States
14 August 2005

OK: so what makes a film a "10"? For me, every scene has to work. Would I take out any scenes? If so, then the flick isn't a 10. Also, does each scene move the story forward? If this is seamlessly done, then all the better. "Hidalgo" not only does this; but it does so easily, and unobtrusivesly, with the sense that the lead actor (Vigo Mortensen) is the vehicle for an ongoing, and interesting, story ... and what a story it is! Just as with the film Apollo 13, the fact that the story is based on real history and fact makes the story-telling more than a good tale. It tells us something worth remembering.

Did I mention that this is a rippingly good story? Did I mention that all of the actors are compellingly good ... including the horse (Hidalgo)? Did I mention that this movie transcends facile categorization (Western, Adventure, Drama, etc.?) This is just a damned good, under-appreciated movie.

The bonus material on the DVD is worthy of inclusion in a course on Western Civilization (a course that I've taught several times)? See this for yourself. I doubt that you'll be disappointed. In fact, I think that you'll recognize this as equal to such under-appreciated films such as "King of Hearts" and "Kasper Hauser" ... films that you'll be proud to own and to show to your friends.

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80 out of 101 people found the following review useful:

Enjoy the Ride!

9/10
Author: dragonfly_
10 March 2005

An excellent, epic tale. This is not a fast-paced film; rather, think of it as story unfolding before your eyes, so sit back and enjoy the ride. There's plenty of adventure along the way, and I shed a few tears as well. It is a moving narrative.

Viggo Mortensen plays the lead character, Frank T. Hopkins, with aplomb, humor, humility, and spunk. Hidalgo, his painted mustang, plays his part well, also! Hopkins is a cowboy/Pony Express rider with a heritage that he holds to himself and is revealed in time. Especially heart-wrenching is the Battle of Wounded Knee. More massacre than battle, it had a profound and personal impact on Hopkins' life.

In the legendary 3,000-mile Ocean of Fire race across the sands of the Arabian desert, Hopkins and his horse must face treachery and the cruel desert elements in an endurance race that pushes man and beast to their limits. If you like horses, adventure, and epic films, this is a movie for you.

Expect moments of triumph and humor that make you laugh and cheer, as well as moments of tragedy. It is a story beautifully told and carefully crafted, though not without mistakes.

A few scenes could have been edited to preserve the epic feel while maintaining the film's pace. At certain points it was natural for the film to slow down, but it should not have been allowed to slow down to the point of stalling. However, in defense of the filmmakers, they were successful in capturing the tedium, beauty and peril of crossing a desert in a 3,000-mile race, and it gave viewers a real feeling for what it might be like to make such a journey.

The relationship Frank T. Hopkins has with his horse in this movie is especially touching, and is perhaps the highlight of the film.

Supporting roles by the rest of the cast were outstanding. Omar Sharif was amazing as always. Even the smallest actors shone in their parts.

Mr. Mortensen's diverse talents, including his aptitude for learning languages (Lakota/Sioux in this case), his own horseback riding skills, and his versatility as an actor made him a perfect fit for this part. Mr. Mortensen's book, Miyelo, which sprang from this movie, is a fine choice for anyone who wants to see a sampling of Mr. Mortensen's outstanding photography.

Frank T. Hopkins remained a staunch advocate of the wild Mustang horse until his death. Keep in mind that the real Frank T. Hopkins was known for his weaving of tall tales; thus, the "legendary" Ocean of Fire race.

A highly recommended movie.

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52 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Feel good movie - start to finish ~!

10/10
Author: Donsgal from Branson, Missouri
10 March 2004

Hidalgo is one of those movies that comes along once in a blue moon. This is a movie NOT to be missed.

Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of a gentle, laid-back cowboy hearkens back to the golden age of cinema and would make the likes of Gary Cooper proud! His subtle blend of virtue such as honor, honest and pride - without being the least bit preachy, make watching his performance an utter joy.

All of the actors are brilliant in their roles, especially the one in the title role! Hidalgo is clever and entertaining without being unbelievable as many animal movies are these days. You won't find him standing on his hind legs and doing the hokey-pokey, but his talents are very evident and he becomes a hero that we all love before the end of the movie.

One of the best parts of this movie is the fact that it is a movie by grownups for grownups, although it carries enough action and suspense that kids will probably like it to. Absent, however is the sickeningly sweet "kids scenes" that we simply cannot get away from in movies today. No charming close ups of dimple-faced waifs. No little wise-mouthed child prodigies - nothing but good old fashioned grown-up fun! How refreshing.

You will be happy to know that the ending isn't as predictable as it could have been. Although falling into the "happy" category (of course), there are poignant moments and you might shed a tear.

One other aspect of this film which I found intriguing is the issue of examining and accepting who we are. It was very well done and meaningful.

Overall this film is easily a 10+. Please see it

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42 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Spectacular movie with exciting adventures and wonderful Oriental outdoors

7/10
Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain
5 February 2005

The picture talks upon Frank Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen) a real cowboy who participated with his horse called ¨Hidalgo¨ in an extraordinary racehorse : ¨ Oceans of fire¨, a 3.000 mile survival race across the risky Arabian desert . He'll take on ominous Arab riders and many dangers . The confrontation will be terrible and he'll face off imposing winds , locust plague , quicksands... though he'll love an Arab princess (Zuleikha Robinson) , Sheik's daughter (Omar Shariff) too . The film is based on historic deeds and famous people , thus : the ¨Wounded Knee slaughter¨ (1890) ; besides , there appears : Buffalo Bill Cody (J.K.Simmons) , Annie Oakley (Elizabeth Berridge) and Indian chiefs: Eagle Horn (Floyd Red Crow Westerman) , Sitting Bull , Crazy Horse and Big Foot . The final duel amongst the horsemen is breathtaking and overwhelming .

This moving motion picture blends adventures , action , a love story , emotions and results to be pretty amusing . From the beginning to end the adventure-action is unstoppable , it's fast moving and for that reason packs a lot of entertainment . The final horse scene was filmed in Browning, Montana , 550 different horses were used in that scene , the horses all came from different owners, so to tell them apart, their hooves were branded . Sets and production design are spellbinding and the Oriental landscapes are mesmerizing . Special effects (FX) by Industrial Light and Magic ILM (George Lucas's ownership) are top-notch , as especially the impressive digital storm . The movie was well directed by Joe Johnston , including Shelly Johnson's riveting cinematography and James Newton Howard's fascinating musical score . The film obtained success at box office around the world and United States was number one . The flick will appeal to Oriental adventure enthusiasts and Viggo Mortensen fans . Rating : Very good , well worth watching .

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44 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Old-Fashioned Adventure Tale

8/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
22 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Here's an "epic" movie that reminded me of those that were made in the mid 1960s such as Dr. Zhivago and Lawrence Of Arabia. Interesting to note that Omar Sharif was in this modern-day movie and Dr. Zhivago. The only problem is the Liberal bias in here, which is brutal.

Several younger friends that saw this film told me they were very disappointed because, thanks to the previews, they thought it would be an action-packed adventure story such as "The Mummy." Well, it wasn't and it was way too slow for them.

Frankly, I thought the "slow" parts were the best and overall, thought the film had just the right amount of action, instead of overdoing it as the recent Mummy pictures did. Another big plus was the cinematography. This is a beautifully filmed movie, stunning in some parts. Another good point is the language: hardly a swear word.

On the negative side, there was the usual political correctness, a la Dances With Wolves in which viewers are reminded several times of the massacre at Wounded Knee and soldiers are portrayed as the bad guys. The horse race had some credibility problems, too, as "Hidalgo" came back from the dead not once but twice to race like Secretariat!

Anyway, if you are looking for a modern-day adventure story with old-fashioned storytelling and no language problems, this film is for you and the rest of the family.

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45 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

A dispatch rider lives in two worlds! He is 1/2 Indian 1/2 white. He needs to reconcile those two worlds in himself to succeed in a race for his life and a big purse!

10/10
Author: Susanne Swanson-Bernard from United States
21 July 2005

I just wanted to state that this movie is very enjoyable, no matter how many times I watch it. I am impressed in how the filmmaker portrayed the very sensitive topic of the Wounded Knee Massacre! It was handled tactfully and with sincere empathy! Additionally this film shows an American traveling overseas! He learns of new customs and great differences in cultures. No matter what situation he finds himself in, he is courteous, polite and he accepts that these are the customs of these people! He doesn't try to change the people or push his ways on them, he knows he is a guest in this country and as that, he is downright charming! It is refreshing to see people carry themselves well and with honor, rather than being the "wild Americans" foreign countries have come to expect us to be! Well done Viggo, Joe Johnston and John Fusco!

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43 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Well made adventure yarn

8/10
Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN
20 March 2004

A great action/adventure movie! I was surprised at just how good it was, as it has received so little attention. Viggo Mortensen of Lord of the Rings plays Frank Hopkins, a real-life cowboy, although probably much fictionalized in this movie. He is a half-breed, part Native American and part white. In the film's prologue, he works for the cavalry and witnesses the massacre of his people at Wounded Knee. The event scars him and he becomes a lush. For some easy money, he and his horse, Hidalgo, enter Buffalo Bill's roadshow. Hidalgo is so famous that a sheik has sent a servant to invite him to participate in a race across the Arabian desert, which he accepts, it being a better alternative to the humiliating performances. It's really a classical adventure movie, with princesses and scimitars and sandstorms and swarms of locusts. Omar Sharif co-stars as the sheik. Its nice to see a movie like this made with care. It never gets stupid, and, while it moves quickly, it isn't too fast, either. The director is Joe Johnston, whom I think is an undervalued filmmaker who specializes in these kinds of enjoyable yarns. His previous films include Jurassic Park 3, which is my favorite of that series, Jumanji, The Rocketeer, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, as well as episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which I loved in my tween years. He also made October Sky, which I haven't seen, but has been recommended. The film also features good performances from Zuleikha Robinson, soon to be a star, I'm sure, Louise Lombard, and Adam Alexi-Malle, one of my favorite character actors (he was the guy who wrote Chubby Rain in the movie Bowfinger). 8/10.

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22 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Critics are wrong

10/10
Author: ja_hunter from California, USA
14 March 2004

I've seen Hidalgo twice and will go again (and again) and I will buy the DVD. I hope that people will not listen to the critics and will give this movie a chance for success. It doesn't matter if Frank Hopkins did these things or not. If he didn't, he gave us a rousing story. Viggo is perfect in this role as the "cowboy" and rides Hidalgo like the wind. The Arabian desert is frightening and beautiful. The horses are beautiful. Some don't like what seems like stereotypes, however, it takes place in 1890 and Native Americans were killed, then played for sport in "shows". Africans were enslaved and women wore (wear) veils. The movie is right with the times. The music is enjoyable. I'll look for the soundtrack on CD. See it and decide for yourself.

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