Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (2000)

On the weekend I finally watched Gladiator again and on BluRay. I’m still sometimes reluctant to buy BluRays but in this case it was really worth it. It was almost another movie. The sound was great, the colors intense. Quite amazing.

Is Gladiator a war movie? I don’t think so, I don’t think King Arthur or Last of the Mohicans are war movies, but they are certainly war themed. If I did consider them to be real war movies… My Top 10 would look slightly different. Although I don’t like Gladiator as much as King Arthur, I still like it a lot.

I have a feeling however that this is a movie that is so widely known that reviewing it in detail makes no sense.

Just let me tell you that it starts with an intense battle in Germania. The Roman Empire is hungry for land and advancing greedily and brutally. After the battle is won the old emperor has a heart to heart with his General Maximus (Russell Crowe). He doesn’t want his own son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) to become emperor after his death, he wants to re-establish the Senate, give Rome back to the people. If Maximus was in charge it could be done.

Things don’t quite turn out that way. Commodus speeds up his father’s passing and wants Maximus killed. Maximus wouldn’t be the hero he already is, if he couldn’t overcome the men in charge of killing him. He escapes and returns to Italy to find his family slaughtered. Badly wounded he faints, is picked up by a slave merchant and sold to become a gladiator.

That’s the beginning. Fight upon fight follows, until the gladiators  finally arrive at the place of their destination, the Colosseum in Rome. The new motto of the new emperorCommodus  is “Bread and Games” and the best of the best of the Gladiators have to fight in the huge arena.

What happens when Commodus finds out Maximus isn’t dead… is for you to find out. If you haven’t done so already, watch it.

Gladiator is the tale of a hero, a man larger-than life. It’s beautifully filmed with a stunning score by Lisa Gerrard and Hans Zimmer.

It’s also a tale of friendship, greed, ambition, loyalty and courage. I’m not sure if this movie would be so great without Russell Crowe but I know that he was one hell of a great choice. And so are the other actors, among them Joaquin PhoenixConnie Nielsen, Oliver Reed and Djimon Hounsu.  The same that can be said about the actors can be said about the score. Not one of those large scale Hollywood prodcutions would work as well as they do without the music.

In terms of emotions and entertainment, this is one of the  most perfect movies for me.

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11 thoughts on “Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (2000)

  1. […] Gladiator (GBR/ USA 2000) directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed (see my review) […]

  2. warmoviebuff says:

    It is a great movie, but I can’t warm to it. It definitely is not a war movie and is substantially inaccurate. The idea that Marcus Aurelius wanted to return Rome to the days of the Republic is laughable. The opening battle is also tactically inaccurate. The Romans were not proficient in cavalry and a general would not lead a cavalry attack. And, of course, Hollywood has to get explosions in. The fire balls obviously were influenced by the “Spartacus” battle, as was “Braveheart”.

    • May I just say you didn’t get it. It’s not about accuracy at all. Not for one second one would believe that. It’s a tale, a myth.
      I love it.

      • warmoviebuff says:

        I’m not suggesting the historical inaccuracies make it a bad movie. I was just pointing out some facts not meant to ruin your perception of the movie. These inaccuracies are not why I can’t warm to it. I really have no explanation why it leaves me cold.

      • Maybe Russell Crowe? If you don’t like him, it’s spoilt, really.

  3. TBM says:

    I loved this movie when I first saw it in the theater. It might be time to sit down and watch it again. Thanks for the review.

  4. Francesco says:

    Sorry but you are saying he is returning to Italy to find his family slaughtered? It was in Spain actualy, and after that he is taken prisoner directly to northern Africa where he starts his gladiator training.

  5. Rudra Mukherjee says:

    Do u think Blood Diamond is a war movie???

    • To some extent, I would say, yes, it is. I also want to review it here. It’s one of those movies like Lord of War or Machine Gun Preacher. They are on the border but certainyl have elements.

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