Oliver Stone directs this sub-Gladiator sword-and-sandal epic charting Alexander of Macedonia’s ground-breaking attempt to sob his way across Asia.
Alexander boasts an all-star cast, with Colin Farrell in the lead role, Angelina Jolie and Val Kilmer as his parents, Jared Leto as close friend (and lover?) Hephaistion, and Anthony Hopkins as Ptolemy, the film’s narrator, with small parts for Christopher Plummer and Brian Blessed.
While the Greeks were famous for their tragedies, the most tragic thing about this film is the fact Colin Farrell was cast as Alexander the Great. With his browbeaten puppy dog face, the fact most of his previous acting is as despondent losers, and a script which demands extensive amounts of crying, tantrums and parental abandonment issues, he’s less Ivan the Terrible, more Ivy the Terrible.
Think about Russel Crowe in Gladiator, who is required to be emotional, but does so without it ever compromising his tough, military character. Then imagine if he’d been played by Ronan Keating.
The film’s non-sequential plotting borders on random and non-sensical, and in spite of lofty ambition the film never manages to feel like it’s about anything more than a man who wants to conquer the world. Caligula had more point to it. The battle scenes are epic and expertly handled, but the greatest of these comes in the first hour and it’s simply not enough to buoy the leaden drama.
Alexander the not-so Great.