Tapped for the throne after the death of the emperor, a Roman general instead finds himself condemned to die by the late ruler’s power-hungry son.
Runtime: 2hr 35m
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Richard Harris, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, David Schofield, John Shrapnel, Tomas Arana
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/60000929
Gladiator is the story of Maximus, a general who leads the Roman army to victory over Germania whilst the dying emperor of Rome, Marcus Aurelius, watches over the battle. After the battle ends the emperor’s son, Commodus, arrives with his sister Lucilla, and it is discovered that Commodus fully expects to be announced the new emperor of Rome in a few days. Aurelius, however, has other plans – he wants to make Maximus emperor, and requests that of the general, who wants nothing more than to go home to his family.
The acting in the movie more than lives up to expectations. Russell Crowe is brilliant in his role as Maximus, the “general who became a slave, who became a gladiator, who defied an emperor.” Crowe’s intense style is perfect for the relentless determination and confidence of Maximus. Joaquin Phoenix is equally wonderful in his role as Commodus, the corrupt emperor. He plays a great villain because he is able to give Commodus depth by showing certain vulnerable or fragile sides, while at the same time instantly transforming to let the ruthless nature of his volatile character shine. It also helps that Joaquin has the classic Caesar look that works perfectly with his role.
Connie Nielsen is also very good as Lucilla. However, perhaps the two finest performances in the movie were given by a couple of acting veterans in supporting roles. Richard Harris and Oliver Reed were exceptional. Harris was perfect as Marcus Aurelius, the ageing Caesar who reflects upon his life and contemplates how the world will remember him. And Reed, especially, gave my personal favourite performance in the movie as Proximo, the trainer for the gladiators. The way he spoke about the life of a gladiator, the splendor of Rome, and the “thrill of the Coliseum” really added excitement and anticipation the film.
The script often sounds almost like poetry and was being written and re-written as the filming was going on, yet it doesn’t show that the actors had no idea how the movie was going to end when they began filming.
Hans Zimmer provides the absolute perfect score to capture the different moods in the movie. Ridley Scott sets the perfect tone with his artistic and creative directing. I would recommend it to anyone who can stomach intensity and enjoy an epic story for the ages. The film is set in Rome, and Ridley Scott as made sure it looks just like it; and that you feel as if you are there in the crowd, hearing them cheer and cheer to see the death. To some of you, this may sound a little barbaric, and believe me the film is VERY barbaric and brutal, the battle scenes are very graphic and really not for the squeamish. However it teaches a very strong lesson of what happens when an economy turns as violent as Rome was. Ridley Scott goes too many lengths to make this movie real, because even though the characters are fictitious, all of this really did happen. Innocent people had to go through brutal fighting while thousands of people cheered for either their death or the enemy’s death. If you were an inexperienced fighter, chances are you would get killed. But the strange thing is that Rome LOVED this. People came from all over to see these fights and to see the blood that was shed.
Gladiator makes the most of its two and a half hours, marking a triumphant comeback for the long forgotten epics of the classic days of film. ALL HAIL MAXIMUS!
Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!