Something comes to mind whenever we think of the film, Gladiator. The great Roman Coliseum where these unbelievably legendary games took place. No, millennials, not a video game, not an online game, not even a board game. No, this was a game of death. Gladiators facing impossible opponents, whether they be lions, tigers, bears, or of course, other men. It’s difficult to even imagine in today’s day-in-age what everyday life was like in 100 A.D., but back then, not only was this a real and popular event, but it inspired artists, films and beyond to recreate these historical times for modern day entertainment, even online casino sites felt inspired and offer themed games, including one that’s even based off Gladiator. So you can actually pretend you’re a Roman spectator making heavy bets on your favorite gladiator.
Gladiator tells the story of Maximus (Russell Crowe), who after he was betrayed by someone that should have been like a brother, was sentenced to death, along with his wife and child. Narrowly escaping his fortune, he is thrown into slavery, which is when he begins his plans of vengeance. How? By joining in with the ranks of Roman gladiators, right in the middle of everything. The only question left standing is…how will you kill the most-guarded man in, possibly, the entire world?
Of course, this is a film that chronicles justice via vengeance, but it’s more than that. It’s about a man fulfilling a promise to someone he very much loved and respected, and the vengeance is just a passenger of that promise. As far as vengeance goes in a film, I believe Ridley Scott changed things up a little, in a way that we can all love, appreciate, and even stand by. That being said, no one ever argued against the concept that Ridley Scott is a master story-teller. He can absolutely keep a movie “grounded” vs “in outer space.”
I had a concern about the length of the film, being nearly three hours long, but thankfully, I received an extended version. So, while it did feel a little too long, I notice the theatrical version is nearly a half hour shorter. I can imagine I’d like that one a bit more for the overall pace of the film.
In general, the movie was a lot better than anticipated. I’m not always a fan of war films, and it’s always a wager when it comes to films centered on a specific era. For Gladiator specifically, it centered around 100 A.D., which is so long ago, it’s ridiculous. However, I found myself really pulled into this film. The action and violence is absolutely insane, the story is something I can understand, the imagery of a brand new Coliseum is great as always, and this is Russel Crowe’s best work…ever!
This film is 17 years old, 17. Now, I just recently saw a 2001 film that was cheesy, cheap-looking, and felt really, really aged. This film is a year older than that movie, and it’s surprising at how well-done it was in comparison. This is a timeless classic. I can’t think of a time when it’ll feel aged and irrelevant…it just doesn’t seem possible.
All-in-all, this film blew me away. Everything from the acting, characters, casting, chemistry, writing, behind-the-scenes, and overall entertainment really knocked my socks off. If you’re like me and deciding to wait to see this movie for another time, take it from me, now’s the time. It’s a fantastic movie.