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Reviewer: Fultoo
Gone in Sixty Seconds


Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix
Fultoo Rating : 2.5/5


Now here is a film, which despite its mundanity of plot and screenplay and average performances manages to impress you for its grandeur and breath taking awful stunts. One of the many Roman epics, Gladiator is first of its kind after the World War II that actually diverted the movie producers from epics to war movies and the to the latest trend of techno Jazz and caricatured creatures.

A Roman General, Maximus (Russell Crowe) who is about to be bestowed with the Roman Kingdom by the King Marcus, after a heroic victory over the barbarians, falls victim to the plot of the king's son Commodus (Phoenix) who kills his father and incarcerates Maximus. For reasons unknown, Commodus doesn't kill Maximus but burns alive his wife and son (Scott building reasons for a perfect revenge story). And quite obviously Maximus has to return to Rome to exact revenge on Commodus. That is all to this threadbare plot. And to fill it with entertainment so as to bind the viewers Scott makes some exceptional use of technology to recreate the Roman Colosseum and the sequence is really exhilarating.

This movie seems to be the other side of the directorial personality of Ridley Scott who has directed classics like Alien and Blade Runner. There is hardly anything in the movie that speaks about directorial excellence leave aside the war sequence with barbarians at the start of the movie and the fight sequence at the end in the Roman Colosseum where Maximus kills Commodus to exact his revenge on him. The story woefully lacks any complexity in the plot, which clearly indicates that the director wants to impress the viewer by the splendid sets and costumes and techno jazz. The performances also do not come even a shade above average. Russell Crowe though was in a way the right choice for the Role but he could not come closer to Mel Gibson in Braveheart. He was many times better and convincing in The Insider as a man caught between the dilemma of idealism and practicality.

The last of the Roman epics created on the silver screen prior to this was Ben Hur, which indeed went as a memorable classic in the Hollywood memorabilia. But Gladiator, I am afraid, won't enter the golden pages of 'classics'. It will certainly entertain though for which it is meant also, but all the grandeur, the scare you to death looking masks and mini skirts wearing warriors, the tigers and the bloodbath, leaves you with a bad flavor cynicism.

Reviewed by Fultoo >>>
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