The nicest thing I can say about this film is ‘that’s three hours of my life I’ll never get back.’ Since I’m not in the business of being nice for the sake of politeness, I’ll say something else; this movie sucked so hard that it’s being sponsored by Dyson and Hoover. I’d rather have a colonoscopy with a telescope than have to watch this shit (HAHA) again.
As expected, the critics were not nearly as harsh as they should have been. They thought it was too much like a historical documentary and lacked enough action. People also complained that it held many historical inaccuracies and portrayed too much homosexuality. While that is all true (with the exception of the homosexuality; it was all insinuation), they had nothing to say about how confusing the film was, due to the constant jumping back and forth between Alexander’s campaigns and his life before becoming king. One moment, Alexander would be fighting the Persians, the next moment he would be fighting with his father at a party, and then he’d be in a completely different country years later. After two hours of this, I had to stop and watch a rerun of “The Office” just to make sure my brain was still functioning.
In a related story, the acting in the film was atrocious. I know this movie is four years old, but we should all be able to agree that Angelina Jolie is a terrible actress. I will never understand the infatuation with her. She spent the entire film squinting, pursing her lips, molesting snakes, and over-dramatizing every line she had.
Not to be out-overacted was Colin Ferrell. While part of this is the fault of Oliver Stone’s directing, Ferrell takes most of the blame for portraying Alexander, arguably the greatest military leader in history, as a megalomaniacal pussy. If this is what Alexander was really like, he would have been killed by the other generals (if his parents didn’t kill him first).
That being said, Jolie and Ferrell don’t hold a candle to the damage done to history by Oliver Stone. He can’t even blame the writers since he was one of them. In interviews, he staunchly defended the film as being based on actual fact, when it was mostly adapted from a book written in the 1970’s. This is where the complaints from historians came from. I thought the biggest problem with the story is that it didn’t depict any of the strategic genius of Alexander’s victories. The only bit we got was him telling a general to hold the left flank. We’ll just have to assume that wasn’t a euphemism.
Another thing the critics dismissed was the fact that every actor had a different accent, none of which were Greek or Macedonian. Ferrell’s was Irish, Jolie’s was Russian, Anthony Hopkins’ was British, one of the general’s was Scottish, and so on. I’m surprised he didn’t have a character speaking with a Canadian accent to depict Alexander’s rumored conquest of Prince William Sound.
Stone even managed to thrown in some completely unnecessary red filters during the final battle scene. I guess he was trying to make it seem like Alexander and Hephaestian (his wrestling partner) were bleeding from the eyes. You tell me. Finally, the most egregious scene in the whole movie was when Alexander drinks something at a party that may or may not have been poison. Considering nobody can agree on how he actually died, I thought this was especially conceited on the part of Stone. The scene doesn’t even play out well, as Alexander hesitates to drink while everyone in the room is watching him nervously. By this, it seems that Alexander was the dumbest person alive or was committing suicide, and I can’t make myself believe either of those things.
So, does a movie have to be good in order to be considered an epic? Many of the references to this film include epic in the description. If epic can mean abysmally awful, then I’m on board. Please excuse me now while I get some Vaseline and one of those little pillows to sit on. Colonoscopies hurt.
Rating: Never watch this film. I wish I hadn’t.