Nov 282004
Authors: Ryan Skeels

Senseless isn't quite the word to describe it, but it is the first word that comes to mind. With "Alexander" being Oliver Stone's most recent attempt to achieve a higher greatness in the cinematic world, he probably should have tried with something other than a ridiculous addition to the now trendy epic-war film genre.

Stone's rendition of Alexander the Great's life at first hits hard and grabs the audience by the neck, striking up the curiosity in anyone paying attention. Colin Farrell plays the role of Alexander and does an OK job of it; he just doesn't seem to have the knack for being the son of Zeus.

"Alexander" follows him from childhood all the way until his death, giving the history of his nearly unstoppable barrage through Babylonia, India and Asia. The story is told by Anthony Hopkins, as Old Ptolomy, who once served as a fighter under the rule of Alexander. There were a surprising number of great actors in the movie, however, leaving the audience waiting until Farrell is out of the spotlight and these actors are in. The gorgeous Angelina Jolie is Alexander's mother, Val Kilmer is his dad, and even "Fight Club's" Jared Leto shows up as Hephaistion.

This version of the trials and tribulations of Alexander's life was just, well, boring. The movie runs at a length of nearly three hours, and by the time the credits role, it feels more like five. When you notice how uncomfortable the seats in the theater are, it's a surefire sign that something went terribly wrong in a film's production. Alexander is considered to be one of the greatest military commanders in history, and in this film he really doesn't do anything to deserve that title. It does show one of his great battles, which is probably the film's climax, when he defeats the Babylonian Army, but it happens in the movie's first half. From then on it's just him growing more and more selfish and caring less for his men, driving them into the ground in his attempt to conquer the world. If you try to film an epic movie about a great war hero, you probably want to show that side of him. There are even parts in the movie when Alexander is about accomplish something great, and then it cuts to Hopkins explaining what happens. "Alexander" cops out like this over and over during the movie.

The directing is bad, the acting is decent, the plot is terrible and the cinematography is the only thing that saves it from being a complete train wreck. Only go see "Alexander" if you have three hours to kill and the only thing around is a two-screen theater, with the other screen showing Dennis Rodman's "Double Team."

1 out of 4 rams

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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