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A foolish choice in art direction casts a pall over Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" that no swordplay can cut through. Its colors are mud tones at the drab end of the palette, and it seems to have been filmed on grim and overcast days. Proximo: That's enough for the provinces, but not for Rome.
The gladiator of the title is Russell Crowe who channels manliness for two and a half hours as Maximus.
The film Gladiator (2000) is directed by Ridley Scott who was trying to portray the culture of Romans more accurately.
The moral lesson: It is good when gladiators slaughter everyone in sight, and then turn over power to the politicians.
The Colosseum productions play like professional wrestling.
However, there were some divergences from historical facts to enhance interest, to preserve narrative continuity, and for safety or practical reasons. They were famous and consequently free men lined up to try their chance on the ground.
The brutal The imprecision’s are legion from the opening scene.When Maximus wins his first big fight, it's up to Commodus to decide whether he will live or die. Luckily, no one else in the Colosseum knows this, either.Crowe is efficient as Maximus: bearded, taciturn, brooding.The Gladiator is a story of a soldier from Rome who became a slave.He is trained as a gladiator and escalated to challenge the empire. The Gladiator movie is set about 250 years after his death.Watching him in his snits, I recalled Peter Ustinov's great Nero in "Quo Vadis" (1951), collecting his tears for posterity in tiny crystal vials.Commodus has unusual vices even for a Caesar; he wants to become the lover of his older sister Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), whose son he is bringing up as his heir.Phoenix is passable as Commodus, but a quirkier actor could have had more fun in the role.Old pros Harris, Jacobi and Reed are reliable; Scott does some fancy editing and a little digital work to fill the gaps left when Reed died during the production."Gladiator" is being hailed by those with short memories as the equal of "Spartacus" and "Ben-Hur." This is more like "Spartacus Lite." Or dark.Events are staged to re-create famous battles, and after the visitors wipe out the home team, a puzzled Commodus tells his aide, "My history's a little hazy--but shouldn't the barbarians lose the battle of Carthage?" Later, an announcer literally addresses the crowd in these words: "Caesar is pleased to bring you the only undefeated champion in Roman history--the legendary Titus!