Monday, April 18, 2011
Movie Review: The Gladiator Are you someone who appreciates violence? Do you like ancient history? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Gladiator will surely offer you an experience you won’t want to miss. From director Ridley Scott comes a story of betrayal, revenge, valor, and of course, violence. Russell Crowe stars as Maximus, the Roman General whose military ambitions is unmatched throughout the entire Roman Empire. When Emperor Marcus Aurelius is overcome with sickness, he decides to pass on the throne to Maximus rather than his own son, Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix. When Commodus hears of the news, he defies his father’s wishes by ultimately murdering Aurelius and proclaiming the throne for himself. Maximus is then thrown into exile and made into a slave. The rest of the film could be summed up by this quote from Commodus, “The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story! But now, the people want to know how the story ends. Only a famous death will do”. Maximus is forced to fight for his life as a gladiator in the historical Coliseum. His fighting prowess does not go without notice as he quickly earns the respect of the entire audience. Against all odds, he slays all who opposes him to earn his freedom. As Maximus yells to the crowd “Does this not please you? Is this not what you came for?”, he gets the response of a roaring cheer from the entire crowd. The story incorporates many historical facts, while embellishing some minor details. History did not, in fact, play out the way described by Ridley Scott. The story of Maximus is essentially false, but Commodus did take the throne after Marcus Aurelius. If you’re a fan of historical films such as Spartacus, then please do not hesitate to spend three hours(dear god) of your day to view the award-winning display known as Gladiator. Plus, Russell Crowe is a damn good actor and his wife in the film is beautiful. What’s not to love about this historical thriller?