I can't believe there wasn't any reviews for this movie on this site yet. Without a doubt, one of the most entertaining movies I'd ever seen.
Of course, this movie isn't based on true events, but after that first battle scene, WHO CARES?! Tell me you weren't impressed by the visual effects? I actually watched the movie one time for the sole purpose of pointing out errors in the effects, revealing errors and all of such. The only two I found that were noteworthy: 1) after finally going to Rome, Italy, I realized that the Colosseum was a lot smaller than the movie depicted and 2) when Tigris was knocked down by Maximus after getting hit with the shield, Tigris' mask was up. In the subsequent shot, it's down and then Maximus lifts it with the axe.
The acting was great! I'm not a historian, so I don't know how Romans of the time acted, but I thought Richard Harris did a fantastic job as Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Joaquin Phoenix was nominated for a Supporting Actor Oscar...nuff said. There are mixed reviews for Russell Crowe's play of Maximus, but overall, I thought he did a great job as well. My only issue would be that he wasn't necessarily as big and hulkish as the historically described Gladiators (ie: like Hagen aka Ralf Moeller).
Did I mention the visual effects? :-) The as I mentioned before, the real Colosseum was not quite as grand as it was portrayed in the movie. But it's still very impressive. In the movie, the main entry archway into the Colosseum was only at one end of the arena, not at both as was portrayed in the movie. The people shown in the Colusseum, some were supposedly computer generated, but I couldn't pick them out.
Overall, if you liked Braveheart or Saving Private Ryan, you'll like this. The DVD is worth getting for all the extras.
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