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October 29, 2005

Rated: R Runtime: 173 min Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Originally when I heard that Hollywood was planning to make a bio pic on the life of Alexander the Great I was cautiously optimistic and then a year later when I found out Oliver Stone was directing, the optimism changed to out right dread. Turns out my dread was well founded because this epic saga is an epic snore fest of epic proportions. But, I will give credit to Warner Brothers for their release date choice because Thanksgiving would be the only time of the year to unleash this turkey on the world.

AlexanderIf you have ever seen the History Channel or opened a book in your life and read about the young king you would already have an idea of what you were going to see. You know he was born in 356 BC and died in 323 BC at the age of 32. You would also know that his empire expanded further than any other in history and from the time he left Macedonia at age 21 until his death in India 11 years later he never once returned to Greece(sniffle, sniffle – wahhh). These are documented facts and if you are writing or directing a movie about Alexander the Great since this is BIO-PIC about Alxander the F’N Great they should not be toyed with, Right? RIGHT. Stone does not follow the same rules everyone else does and he wants to make it his own. Seems he can’t make a movie unless there is a big conspiracy to hide the truth from him and he stays true to his nature this go round as well. WHO REALLY KILLED ALEXANDER? I know, I know. It must have been Johnson; he killed the president why not the King of Macedonia too. Stone is a schmuck. Don’t get me wrong; when the blood is spewing and the arrows are flying this movie ROCKS! Problem is that only makes up about 40 minutes of the almost 3 hours I had to sit there and watch this travesty.

The story is told through an educational lesson taught by a former member of Alexander’s council Ptolemy (Anthony Hopkins) as he has one of his students transcribe the tale. We first see Alexander as a young boy and throughout 5 or 6 scenes we get a feeling for the relationships he has with his mother, father and best friend (yawn) until he turns 20 and the real ‘fun’ begins…whoopee. Olympias (Jolie) is the lame duck queen to Philip (Val Kilmer) and since she knows her time is limited (new honey on the horizon) she pushes Alexander to marry and bear a son so his father would have no choice but appoint him successor to his throne. King Philip has himself a new biscuit and once she gets knocked up he doesn’t need Queenie anymore and Olympia knows she will be killed and Alex would end up at the arse end of the empire watching over a small outpost while baby brother sits on the throne. Time goes by and next thing you know Philip is assassinated, toes up, stiff as aboard, cold as a this turkey…so on and so on. The joke has lost it’s steam so I will get back on task. Alexander is now king and he plans to do something his father never did; Conquer Persia and take the land for his own to expand the borders of Greece. This is when the movie actually got good, the battle was great as long as you can ignore the pathetic motivational speech at the beginning by Farrell. Not his fault at all, just crap butt dialog that no one could make work. They fight. He wins. Story continues blah, blah blah.

For me the biggest problem other than gay man love was the editing and direction of this movie. One: It is too darn long. Could have cut out 30 or 45 minutes and it would have been better. Two: Too much character development for unimportant characters and not enough for ones you are supposed to care about. Three: GAY- man love… This is a site for men who like to look at breasts and watch things blow up and this movie made me watch men kiss and ‘cuddle’…..ooh. Wrong on so many levels. Last and certainly not least; The story is told in a way only Chevy Chases wife in the 1988 comedy Funny Farm can relate. 4 flashbacks, 3 flash forwards and 20 flash sideways made the movie difficult to follow and if it weren’t for 3 excellent battle sequences and Dawson raw as a steak from Longhorn this movie would not have gotten 2 stars from this reviewer so it is a good thing I got to see teeots. Oh yeah one last thing before I go…Stone is schmuck.

Popularity: 30% [?]

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