Directed by: OLIVER STONE
Produced by: THOMAS SCHUHLY,
JOHN KILIK, IAIN SMITH, MORITZ BORMAN
Starring: COLIN FARRELL, ANGELINA JOLIE, VAL KILMER, JARED
LETO, ROSARIO DAWSON, ANTHONY HOPKINS
Released by: Warner Bros.
Short: Despite brilliant
battle sequences and vibrant depictions of
foreign lands, Alexander is little more than
an over-the-top lesson in Greek history.
Hero Won't Conquer Audiences
Stone has gone completely over the top with his nearly
three-hour long epic-wannabe. Colin Farrell portrays
the conquering Greek hero who expanded his empire to
encompass 90 percent of the known world by the age of
25. The film follows his eight years of battles that
began in Macedonia, forged west through the Middle East
and Egypt and finally through Asia to India—commanding
an army created by his one-eyed father King Philip,
played evocatively by Val Kilmer.
Shooting largely on location in Morocco, Stone delivers
aesthetically with brilliant battle sequences and vibrant
depictions of foreign lands; particularly memorable
are the colorful scenes of decadence throughout Persia.
But it's the pretentious, long-winded dialogue
that is “Alexander's” ultimate undoing.
Anthony Hopkins narrates the tale as Alexander's
trusted general Ptolemy, frequently bringing the momentum
and thrill of Stone's battlefields to a screeching
halt with dry oration resembling a high school lecturer.
Angelina Jolie adopts a cartoonish accent as Alexander's
snake-worshipping mother Olympius, whose domineering
presence echoes through many of his decisions.
Much hubbub has been made about the film's references
to Alexander the Great's alleged bi-sexuality and deep
affection for his lifelong friend, lover and battle
mate Hephaistion, played by Jared Leto. Sadly, the current
headline-grabbing debate about this part of his life
is more intriguing than the actual depiction in the
movie. Rosario Dawson is visually stunning, but given
little to do as Alexander's ambitious wife Roxane. Armed
to the teeth with derivative dialogue that seems ripped
from the pages of a middle-school production, Alexander
is little more than an over-the-top lesson in Greek