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Not the original, but still good
I have always loved the original Spartacus. Great movie, great cast, and great themes and emotion. When I heard that there was a made-for-TV remake of this, I dreaded the defiling of a classic. But it actually didn't turn out that bad.
The update makes good use of newer effects and technology, making the movie much more authentic. Spartacus and Varinia were had more youth to them, but I am not sure if this is better or not. Goran Visnjic brought youth to the role, as well as more aggressiveness (in the original Spartacus, Spartacus was cited as being a coward and a bad fighter). I liked David, the Jewish gladiator,s in this movie, with more of an expanded role; Crassus was equally good, but didn't have as much seriousness to him as Laurence Olivier. No one will ever live up to Peter Ustinov's slave owner, for which he won an Oscar for. But the movie did manage to live up to some of the original's fame.
One issue that I had with the movie was the ending. Spartacus died in battle; there was no "I am Spartacus" scene, nor combat between two dear friends, nor Spartacus paying the ultimate price for his beliefs. For a while I thought that David would be the one to fight Spartacus, but it seems he took Spartacus's place on the cross. With this plot change, the movie loses several of the greatest emotional parts ever written or filmed: the famous, "I am Spartacus" scene, the fight between Spartacus and Antoninous, each trying to kill the other out of love, and the scene with Spartacus on the cross, and his last words to his wife.
Although this remake was good, the original will live on forever.
7 out of 10.