The warrior Beowulf (Ray Winstone) must fight and defeat the monster Grendel (Crispin Glover), who is terrorizing Denmark, and later, Grendel's Mother (Angelina Jolie), who begins killing out of revenge.
Conquering ninety percent of the known world by the age of twenty-five, Alexander the Great (Colin Farrell) led his armies through twenty-two thousand 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 movie concentrated on those eight years of battles, as well as his relationship with his boyhood friend and battle mate, Hephaistion (Jared Leto). Alexander died young, of illness, at the age of thirty-two. 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
In the U.S., this movie is widely considered a box-office flop. It performed surprisingly well in the U.S. home video market, so Warner Brothers asked Oliver Stone to make a fourth version, which became "Alexander: The Ultimate Cut". See more »
There are some English texts to be seen throughout the movie. When young Alexander is taught about the world as it has been explored in these ancient times, the teacher stands on a mosaic showing the countries' and regions' names in English. Another appearance of the English language happens on a report lying on Alexander's desk, titled "TAX SYSTEM" in fake Greek letters. 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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A third cut of the film was released in 2007 under the title "Alexander Revisited - The Final Cut". Running at three and a half hours (45 minutes longer than the original). See more »
I have to say that I was really quite alarmed, not to mention disappointed, at how poor this film generally was. It would have worked better as an epic, historical action film which examines the true character of the film's main figure. However, Oliver Stone attempted to incorporate several confusing, drawn out personal incidents and strained relationships into the film, with the incidental backdrop of war and the conquering of enormous countries. As a result, Stone essentially neglects to tell the story of how Alexander came to be such an all-conquering warrior, and gives the illusion that his conquests were made simply by turning up.
One of the main issues with the film is that the central characters - despite their lengthy screen time and the numerous incidents each is embroiled in - are never stripped bare for the viewer for long enough for them to be more than two dimensional. For example, Alexander's volatile relationship with his father is baffling throughout the movie, swinging as it does between mutual affection and abject hatred. Similarly, it is never explained fully as to why his mother is quite so scheming and harbours so much anger towards his father.
All these things aside, the true problem with the film is the standard of the acting. Being a high-strung drama, it requires performances that are sincere whilst also not patronising or over-cooking it for the viewer. Unfortunately, the film does not possess a single strong performance. Colin Farrell is uncomfortable, if willing, in the lead role, a fact not helped by the Director's decision to make Alexander's male friends and generals speak with Northern Irish accents so as not to draw attention to Farrell's own accent. Val Kilmer is hackneyed and perhaps mis-cast as Alexander's father, and Angelina Jolie's performance as Farrell's mother is bordering on the catastrophic. Despite her wicked beauty, she demonstrates that she has neither the versatility nor earnestness to act at this level.
Finally, the simple presentation of the movie is flawed. The opening scenes, which show Anthony Hopkins in one of his more pointless roles, are set against a computer-generated backdrop which could not have looked less real had it been a charcoal drawing. Later scenes, whilst expensively produced, give the impression, perhaps deliberately, of theatrical stage scenery. If this is intended, then it is negated by the lengthy scenes outdoors, which again feature unwelcome CGI.
On the whole, the film is actually rather dull. It does not present its subject matter with sufficient power to hold the viewer's interest and the 2 hours, 30 mins running time leaves you longing for an end. The one scene that is worth seeing is one in which Alexander and his horse square up to an Indian soldier on an elephant. Unusually for the film, it is beautifully shot and wonderfully engaging. But it lasts only a few seconds.
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