Alexander (2004)

Oliver Stone directs Colin Farrell, Val Kilmer and Angelina Jolie in this epic retelling of the life of Greek leader who conquered most of the ancient world.

A film so compromised by its own hubris and desire to exist it proves difficult to decide what is good and what is bad. The support cast are all jarringly Irish so that Colin Farrell can pass his native accent off as this reality’s version of Greek. Jolie, Kilmer and Rosario Dawson are camp and OTT but all their scenes have a punching star power madness missing from the bulk of the film. Of the two battles shown one is outstandingly impressive – the sheer scale of the thing roots you to your seat – while the other suddenly douses itself in an oilslick pink for… reasons. Stone clearly is trying to fuck the frame whenever he can, and while I’m no slave to tradition, it just snags the movie here. You can tell his fear is he can’t solve the riddle of how do you make dynamic a film about a man who dominated the globe but lost control by overreaching? How do you sex up a tale where most of the drama is tired warriors discussing whether they plod further into the unforgiving wilds? Stone sexes it up, spunks all over it repeatedly, but never solves that inherent problem. It descends into endless scenes of desperate, bearded men shouting at each other in wine soaked harems and muddy cliffpoints.

5

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