Blind Spot Series: Gladiator (2000)

gladiator-2000-movie-review-blind-spot-seriesDirector: Ridley Scott

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

Runtime: 155 Minutes

Main Cast: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Richard Harris, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, David Schofield, John Shrapnel, Tomas Arana

Plot: Maximus was a strong and loved Roman general, so much so that the aging Emperor Marcus Aurelius chooses him to be his heir over his own son, Commodus. A power struggle breaks out and Maximus’ family are slaughtered, leaving Maximus himself captured and put into the Gladiator games. Now fuelled by vengeance, Maximus sets his sights on rising up the ranks and avenge his wife and son.

My Thoughts: My timing couldn’t be more perfect with my Blind Spot choices lately. I’d chosen The Matrix as my choice last month right when a Keanu Reeves obsession hit, and I was over the moon to realise my June pick was Gladiator when I’ve been spending as much time as possible playing Assassins Creed: Odyssey. One thing I hadn’t realised was how long the movie was, IMDB says it’s just over 2 and a half hours but I think I had some kind of special edition because my copy was just a few minutes shy of 3 hours! Why are all these famously amazing movies so darn long?!

Anyway, I’ll get straight to the point. I did enjoy Gladiator, in fact, I got really into it for the last hour or so, but it took me a long while to actually get invested. Call me uncultured (I wouldn’t argue with you) but Maximus’ story was just so similar to Spartacus’, and that’s a story I know in great detail thanks to the Starz! TV Show, which I know came later but cut me some slack.

Once I’d convinced myself to empty my thoughts and just enjoy the movie for what it was, I had a blast. I loved how Maximus managed to get the other gladiators to work together as one unit, and his rivalry with Commodus was intense. I also now know where the line “Are you not entertained?!”. I think where similar movies go all in for the action and choreographed fight scenes, Gladiator delivers some of the best dialogue I’ve heard in a movie. You can sense when someone’s about to dish out a killer speech, and those are the best moments.

gladiator-russell-crowe-joaquin-phoenix-2000

Best Bit: The scene where Commodus is praising this ‘Gladiator’ and asks him his name will be the moment that I always remember the movie for. “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

Worst Bit: I get that the focus of the movie is the hatred between Maximus and Commodus, but with such a long runtime I would have liked some of the side characters to have got a little more limelight.

Fun Trivia: The wounds on Russell Crowe’s face after the opening battle scene are real, caused when his horse startled and backed him into tree branches. The stitches in his cheek are clearly visible when he is telling Commodus he intends to return home.

My Rating: In true gladiator games style, I give it 4 thumbs up!

gladiator-2000-russell-crowe-thumbs-up-live

blind-spot-series-2019-banner-v2The Blind Spot Series was created a few years ago by Ryan at The Matinee, and is now hosted by Sofia at Returning Videotapes. As part of the Series, bloggers choose 1 movie to watch and review each month that is deemed a ‘classic’ or ‘must-watch’. To see the rest of my picks for the year, check out my announcement post here.

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24 thoughts on “Blind Spot Series: Gladiator (2000)

  1. Pingback: 2019 Blind Spot Movie List | Often Off Topic

  2. Fantastic film. Most people don’t know that “Gladiator” is an uncredited remake of the 1964 film “The Fall of the Roman Empire” which starred Alec Guinness as Marcus Aurelius and Christopher Plummer as Commodus. How Scott’s team got away without having to give some sort of credit to the original, I’ll never know. The remake is significantly better than the original.

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  3. Glad you liked it. I love Gladiator. I still remember the first time I saw it – blew me away. And you’re right on the best bit. That scene is epic. Such a good film.

    OH! And I’m playing through AC: Odyssey as well. Soooo good.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I’m definitely in the minority over this as I didn’t think it was that great. It had some nice visuals and some entertaining moments but there were parts of the film that bored me. It didn’t click with me at all.

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  5. Great review, Allie! What are your thoughts on the ending? I won’t spoil it, in case any of your followers or readers haven’t seen the film yet. But, at first, I wasn’t a fan of the ending. When I reflected on the film more and what the protagonist’s priorities were, it made me realize that the ending made more sense than I had originally believed. By the way, I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Here’s the link to my post:

    https://18cinemalane.wordpress.com/2019/06/21/my-third-sunshine-blogger-award-of-2019/

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  6. Always loved this movie, although I haven’t seen it in a long time. Also, I am so behind on my Blind Spot, challenge, I hope to get back on track when I go on vacation in the following weeks. Great review!

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  7. I watched this for the first time in my high school English class so it took us forever to get through, but I really like this film. I haven’t watched it in so long, I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.

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  8. I’d admit it, I didn’t like Gladiator the first time I saw it! I thought it was rather dull, and gave up an hour into the movie. It wasn’t until I saw it a second time (this time, in full) that I truly appreciated how well written it was. Like you said, the script delivered some of the best lines in cinema.

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    • Oh I’m so glad you had a similar experience! I didn’t enjoy the first hour at all either, but with it being one of my Blind Spot choices I tried to really pay attention for the rest and ended up having a great time with it πŸ™‚

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  9. Pingback: Mini Reviews: Movies Watched in June | Often Off Topic

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