Conquering 90% of the known world by the age of 25, Alexander the Great led his armies through 22,000 miles of sieges and conquests in just eight years. Coming out of tiny Macedonia (today part of Greece), Alexander led his armies against the mighty Persian Empire, drove west to Egypt, and finally made his way east to India. This film will concentrate on those eight years of battles, as well as his relationship with his boyhood friend and battle mate, Hephaestion. Alexander died young, of illness, at 33. Alexander's conquests paved the way for the spread of Greek culture (facilitating the spread of Christianity centuries later), and removed many of the obstacles that might have prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire. In other words, the world we know today might never have been if not for Alexander's bloody, yet unifying, conquest. Written by
Oliver Stone: Appears quite clearly as a bearded Macedonian general in close-up at the dedication of the statue of Zeus marking the beginning of the the army's retreat from India back to Babylon. See more »
The Alexander Mosaic shown when the old Ptolemy was talking did not exist until 100 BC. It was from the Roman Republic era. See more »
Our world is gone now. Smashed by the wars. Now I am the keeper of his body, embalmed here in the Egyptian ways. I followed him as Pharaoh, and have now ruled 40 years. I am the victor. But what does it all mean when there is not one left to remember - the great cavalry charge at Gaugamela, or the mountains of the Hindu Kush when we crossed a 100,000-man army into India? He was a god, Cadmos. Or as close as anything I've ever seen.
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How did so many talents with such a story produce such banality?
It took me two nights (2½ hours total) to watch this - as I couldn't stay awake the first night. The story of Alexander is fascinating, but you wouldn't know it from watching this movie. (Michael Wood's excellent TV series/DVD/book "In the Footsteps of Alexander The Great" is a much better use of your time, and much more engaging.)
The Irish accents are invasive, and in the case of some (e.g. Val Kilmer) truly risible. (And the Russian accents? Come on!) Colin Farrell is utterly implausible - I wouldn't follow him to the bottom of my garden, and that's not very far. My wife thinks he looked like a porn star. (It would have been a very low budget porn film to use such poor wigs...)
The film's historical accuracy is better than Stone's version of the Kennedy story, but it completely misses in its attempt to capture the true sense of scale and ambition in Alexander's quests. It similarly fails to adequately address the source of that ambition.
In summary, this film utilises the talents of a dozen or so stars (and Colin Farrell), millions of dollars of very obvious production costs and is based on one of the most epic stories of individual ambition in the history of the world. And the result? An overlong, indulgent, "who cares?" movie.
What a waste! Brian
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