Plot: A former Roman General sets out to exact vengeance against the corrupt emperor who murdered his family and sent him into slavery – Gladiator.
Director: Ridley Scott
Released: May 2000
Back when Gladiator first came out. I was awestruck at how good it was and have been a firm favourite of mine to watch ever since. The story is simply fantastic, with so many deep and touching moments, that might seem conventional at first but also original at the same time.
This is most surprising given this being a massive historical epic, a sub-genre not normally known for subtlety, in fact, I feel the film maintains a level of drama that doesn’t go over the top and no scenes seem insignificant to the overall story, just how a good film should be.
What comes to role performances, Russell Crowe does an absolutely phenomenally as Maximus, Perfectly communicating with his acting, expressions and body language the sorrow, anger and other emotions that the role required, Scott did well to find someone who encompasses the role flawlessly, bringing the rough appearance and soft nice guy side too. But also managed to find the perfect person to play opposite as the conniving emperor Commodus, Joaquin Phoenix, once again shows how much of an amazing actor he is and list like in Joker, really well suited to playing a creepy/evil role.
When it comes to films of this type, you know there will be a lot of CGI to successfully bring the world to life and here the CGI department deserves a big-time, especially when it comes to the Colosseum which comes to life every time you’re transported there, with the rest of Roman society feeling so believable and realistic. But this doesn’t mean that the film is lacking in practical effects, the opening sequence in Germania alone is a wonderful intricate mixture of real and CGI effects that produce one of my favourite cinematic battle-scenes.
When it comes to Gladiator, you get a film with superb directing, magnificent acting. a plot that covered a full range of genres, including drama, romance, adventure and action And I have to give a special mention to Hans Zimmer, who once again smashes it when it comes to the soundtrack.