My family and I have a running joke about Gladiator. My brother has seen this film more times than anybody I know, but I doubt he remembers what it’s really about – he was no older than five at the time. My parents used to let him sit in front of the TV with Gladiator playing on a loop. All 155 minutes of R-rated Roman glory. Despite this, he’s surprisingly well-adjusted. He hasn’t committed a single school shooting yet.
For me, it’s been about eight years since I last saw Gladiator. I forgot how well-cast it is. I mean, in the opening scene alone, we see Russell Crowe fight like five-hundred foreigners. Step aside Daniel Day-Lewis, Hollywood has a new best method actor.
I just wish the political subplot had been a little more straightforward. It seems to me that some of the less important characters could have been cut – maybe the ones whose names end in the confusingly identical “-ius”. Sure, they’d be removing a good 60% of the cast, but it’d certainly make all the political intrigue easier to follow.
Really, the only important thing you need to follow is that nobody seems to like Joaquin Phoenix because of his daddy issues. I even felt sorry for him, but then he tried to seduce his sister and kill his nephew. Seriously, he’s so fucked up you’d think he had watched Gladiator as a child.