Gladiator - a movie review
warning: gives away plot details

Ridley Scott: Brilliant man.
Russell Crowe: Great actor.

So mind telling me why this movie was suckage?
Ridley Scott's massive epic of Roman conquest just really didn't hit the spot for me this time around. It wasn't the worst movie I've seen granted (cough Battlefield Earth cough), but it was not the brillant piece of film I've heard it hailed to be. This film won best picture. Lets do a little good/bad:


  • Environment. It looked like Rome. It sounded like Rome. It was immersive.
  • 'Epic'ness. It was a big bad epic, no denying it that.
  • Acting. When the actors had a chance, they did their job quite well.
  • Score. Sounded pretty, no doubt.
  • Cohesiveness. This plot lacked it entirely. He escapes from his would-be captors, and we are entranced as he races his home to save his poor family. He's in Balvaria. His family is in Spain. He's on a horse. Do the math people -- their is no sense of urgency when the parties must travel 1500 miles on bloody horseback. We come away with the feeling he 'just missed' saving his family. Rubbish.
  • Cinematography. Mr Scott decided to shoot all action scenes in a style simalar to that developed by MTV. Everything is filmed in this jarring and slightly nausiating form. Atmosphere is important in movies, but I felt this was overdone.
  • Bloat. 2.5 hours. Its not like they did things to make the plot coherent either -- Balvaria to Spain takes 4 minutes of film. Spain to Africa takes about 30 seconds.
  • Script. Ugh. "When I die, I hope to see my family too". Proximo has a father-son relationship with Maximus, loves him, helps him whenever he can, yet sends him to his death at the Gladiator pit.

Guess thats about it. If you want good Ridley Scott see Blade Runner. Russell Crowe was wonderful in LA Confidential. Yeah, this movie isn't a horrible piece of trash, but it certainly shouldn't have won best picture over brilliant pieces of film like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Traffic. Endorse movies that do something for you. If violence and visual effects is what you want to attain in your movie experience, you'll like this movie. If you desire something higher, look elsewhere.

Dem Bones pointed out to me that the scenes of roses were a manifestation of the Roman belief of the afterlife. A carryover from Grecian beliefs is that of a journey to the afterlife, Maximus is spiritually dead, and hence the 'acid' scenes have a very valid context.