THE LATE LATE REVIEW: GLADIATOR

Not to be confused with the classic ITV Saturday night show, Gladiator is a modern day classic and turns 20 next year. And no, Tom hadn’t ever seen it – but he has now…

Release Date: May 2000

Awards: Blimey, this one did alright. Between Best Picture, Best Actor (Russell Crowe), Best Visual Effects, Best Costume Design and Best Sound Mixing at the Academy Awards; Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Film and Best Production Design at the BAFTA Awards; plus Best Motion Picture and Best Original Score at the Golden Globes, it’s fair to say they did alright!

Rating: This movie has a 76% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes; however the public were even more keen on it giving it 87%, which is always good.  

The tale of a soldier, Gluteus Maximus Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe), who, for one reason or another ends up becoming a gladiator.

There’s quite a cast in this film: Richard Harris as Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome, Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus – Marcus Aurelius’ tyrant son and the villain of the piece, and Russell Crowe, obviously.

Now, rumour has it that Russel Crowe was quite the diva on set. When he took on the project, Ridley Scott (who you’ll remember from directing Alien) said that the script was a bit shallow and demanded some changes. Our boy Russell had a tendency to ask a lot of questions about the new script, and a habit of storming off set when he didn’t get the answers he was after.

This is where Crowe’s reported “volatility” originates from, apparently. Fair play though, I think I’d ask some questions if I turned up on a set with a 200 strong crew and a cast of 100 and there was no script to learn. Although to be honest, I think the bigger shock would be me ending up on a film set.

There are a few moments in the movie which lost me a bit. There are weird shots of the sky which is really hard to explain, but if you’ve seen it then I bet you know exactly which bit I’m on about based on that rubbish description. I’ve been told it could represent the scale of the Roman Empire, but I still found it rather jarring as it’s so different from the style of the rest of the film.

We also need to discuss the amount of times that the music is as near as identical to the music from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Yes, I know this film came first, but I didn’t see them in order of release, I saw PotC much, much earlier, so the music will always be from PotC and not Gladiator for me.

It’s a great film on the whole. Engaging storyline, brilliant acting and it’s not a challenge to see why it did so well at award season.

I do wish though they’d greenlit the sequel where Maximus was reincarnated by the Roman gods and travelled in time to WWII, the Vietnam War and the modern day Pentagon…

Is there an iconic film or album you think I should have experienced by now? Let me know @MoveToTRASHUK #latelatereview

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