Ridley Scott revives the Roman epic with computer generated imagery and a mighty performance from Russell Crowe. Not to mention the last stand of the Oliver Reed.
Hulking great buildings, hulking men, hulking utterances. But at the heart of Gladiator’s epic recreation of the ancient Roman world sits an effectively simple tale of loyalty and love.
When Roman general Maximus (Crowe) is double-crossed by the dangerous, nay deranged, new emperor Commodus (Phoenix), all he wants is to avenge his family. After being sold to gladiator trainer Proximo (Reed, serving up his final role with brute nobility), the experienced soldier fights his way up the gladiatorial league charts until he’s the darling of the Colosseum. The David Beckham of bloodshed. Soon he gets a chance to face the father-murdering, sister-loving cause of his woes – Commodus.
Ridley Scott’s best film since Blade Runner, Gladiator magnificently revives a genre that seemed to have expired with Cleopatra in the mid-60s. Although it’s essentially cobbled together from 19th century neoclassical paintings, Spartacus and The Fall Of The Roman Empire, Gladiator is given added oomph with judiciously-applied CGI.
Cast: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Richard Harris, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, David Schofield, John Shrapnel, Tomas Arana, Ralf Moeller, Tommy Flanagan, Spencer Treat Clark, David Hemmings, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Giannina Facio, Alun Raglan, Giorgio Cantarini, David Bailie, Omid Djalili, Nicholas McGaughey, Tony Curran, Mark Lewis, John Quinn, Al Hunter Ashton, Allan Corduner, Michael Mellinger, Said Amel, Adam Levy, Gilly Gilchrist, David Nicholls, Malcolm Ellul, Ray Mangion, João Costa Menezes, Mike Mitchell, Norman Campbell Rees, Steve Saunders, Brian Smyj, Chick Allen, Billy Dowd
Director: Ridley Scott
Producer: David Franzoni, Branko Lustig, Douglas Wick
Original Music Composer: Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard
Cinematography: John Mathieson Running Time: 155 minutes
Released 1 May 2000
Genres: Action, Drama, Adventure
Country: United Kingdom, United States of America
Production Companies: Universal Pictures, Scott Free Productions, Red Wagon Entertainment, Mill Film, C & L, Dawliz, DreamWorks Pictures