Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

28 November 2004

At All Costs, Avoid Alexander

And all of us said, "It's gotta be better than the trailer, right?" Wrong.
If you haven't seen Alexander yet, be wise, take my advice and stay away. Far away. As far away as you can. This movie is terrible.

I wanted so badly to like it. I knew Manohla Dargis had hated it. I thought, "Perhaps Manohla merely holds Oliver Stone to higher standards." No. Manohla was so, so right.

What an unholy, ungodly, awful, ridiculous mess of a film! I sat there wanting to cry or throw up or scream. It was so frustrating to watch. It had such promise. It looks so beautiful. The production is lavish and rich. The battle scenes are expertly filmed. The film stays true to the hero's homosexual affairs. But goddamit if there is not one scene with merit. No, I am unkind. There is a single, five or six minute battle sequence with Darius, the emperor of Persia about forty minutes into the film that is good. The rest is not just "okay," it is terrible. The inane dialogue and incomprehensible political discussions are not the film's main problems, either. The problems are the scenes: almost every one of them. Not one of them (save aforementioned six-minute battle sequence) serves any purpose at all. I kept wondering why I was watching what I was watching. I mean, why did he keep showing me such nonsense? If he was going to pick and choose which of the scenes of Alexander's life he was going to show us, why did he pick the ones he did? I don't think this will ever make sense to me.

The only character in this film who was nicely crafted was Angelina Jolie's Olympias, and I would say she was the best part of the film were it not that she had the most ridiculous Russian/Transylvanian accent. Jared Leto's Hephaistion is terribly written, though Leto seems to pull off something with the role. I did believe he loved Alexander, though I couldn't figure why. Poor Colin Farrell needs some voice work like nobody's business. I just don't know what he's doing in this movie. He tries yelling and crying and other things but nothing seems to come across the screen and hit me. Maybe he needs to do a play or something: play a supporting character in some low budget flick. I don't know.

Oh, and if you think you're going to see any nudity, think again. There is a very nice view of Rosario Dawson's breasts (and they are magnificent, I promise you), but that is it. Colin Farrell barely takes his shirt off that I can remember, and other skin is noticeably absent. There is a very dark shot of his ass, but let me tell you, three hours of suffering is not worth it.

Wahima said it best as we left the theater: Troy was more interesting. No shit.