Assigned to accompany two priests on a mission to convert the court of Kublai Khan to Christianity, Marco Polo is abandoned in the mountains when the priests, doubting the very existence of China, turn back. Polo eventually pushes bravely forth alone toward the fabled country where he is accepted as an envoy into Khan's court. Marooned on the far side of the world, Polo, accompanied by his servant, Pedro, advances as a Mongol grandee for twenty extraordinary years. What he eventually brings back with him to the West is a chronicle that changed history forever. Written by
Really, who's idea was this? A retreat back to the bad old days of Hollywood when Caucasians played Chinese, Indians and every race under the sun because how can we entrust these roles to "inferior" races. Brian Dennehy as Kublai Khan is as laughable in the 21st century as Bruce Cabot was as Maqua in the Last Of The Mohicans in 1936. And then, in a stunning reversal of typecasting, Achmed, a Muslim Saracen, is played by a Chinese. You can't write this stuff. Or, maybe you can. Somebody did here. God, what a mess. Let's not forget the casual glossing over of the trip to the East, which took almost 4 years and zips by here in a few minutes. Do yourself a favor and seek out the 1982 mini-series which was a labor of love with an all star cast, location filming and fabulous music from the master, Ennio Morriconne. Will someone finally release that on DVD so we won't have to be subjected to these awful remakes!!
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