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Overall Rating
2.03

Awesome: 9.55%
Worth A Look: 4.49%
Just Average: 6.18%
Pretty Crappy: 39.33%
Sucks40.45%

10 reviews, 118 user ratings


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Alexander
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by EricDSnider

"It's the Inappropriate Accent Buffet, and Jolie's going back for seconds."
2 stars

I'll say this for Oliver Stone: When he makes a mess, he makes a HUGE MESS. He doesn't just create trainwrecks. He knocks the train off the rails, sets it on fire, then kills every person onboard. (And takes three hours to do it.)

"Alexander" is an excessive, massive film, "spectacular" only in the sense that it features many actors making spectacles of themselves. At 175 minutes in length yet not nearly deep enough to justify such extremes, it reeks with pretension. It is, to put it bluntly, a bad movie, certainly Stone's worst.

Alexander the Great, a Macedonian king and conqueror, died in 323 B.C. Whatever else you didn't know about him is told to us by Ptolemy (played in old age by Anthony Hopkins), dictating Greek history to dutiful scribes some years later. Ptolemy is not a particularly interesting history professor, given as he is to vague philosophical-sounding intonations about the greatness of Mr. The Great, but that doesn't stop Stone from using him as a narrator throughout the film, both on screen and in voice-over.

Played by a Colin Farrell whose hair and accent have been slightly bleached, Alexander is the bastard son of King Philip (Val Kilmer) and his mistress Olympias (Angelina Jolie). His illegitimate status makes him an unlikely successor to the throne, a fact which Olympias remedies by getting Philip killed before he can produce any other viable heirs.

Alexander's creepy relationship with Mom is one of the film's several giggling points, and in fact Angelina Jolie's entire performance is, I think, destined to become a camp classic, up there with Faye Dunaway in "Mommie Dearest." (Jolie is one year older than Farrell, by the way.) She screams, schemes and moans with wild abandon, not to mention her fondness for snakes and her indescribable accent.

(We are not going to spend a lot of time discussing the accents in the film, because it's useless. I think the cast members just chose them at random, perhaps by putting slips of paper into a hat and choosing. Jolie might be doing Greek, but if she is, she's the only one. Several characters have Irish accents, except for Farrell, who IS Irish, but who has toned his brogue down a lot. Rosario Dawson's accent changes constantly, though I will always recall with fondness the way she glares at one of Alexander's boy-toys and says, "You love heem?")

But back to the story. After several scenes set in Alexander's early life, we meet him as a grown-up, a popular leader and commander of a massive army. He's currently pursuing the Persian king Darius (Raz Degan), going to the ends of the earth if necessary, expanding Macedonia's rule as he goes. His men love him, and some of his men REALLY love him, if you know what I mean. And what I mean is that sometimes they do it. The love of Alexander's life is Hephaistion (Jared Leto), but for reasons not made entirely clear, Alexander marries a woman anyway.

Her name is Roxane (Rosario Dawson), a Babylonian girl, and though the only sex scene in the film is between her and Alexander, it is never suggested that he actually loves her. His fondness for the menfolk is given much more weight, even though wariness on the part of Warner Bros. forced Stone to keep that aspect from getting too graphic. This fact will be met with appreciation by those who don't enjoy seeing gay sex scenes, of course, but it does seem silly to make a film about a gay historical figure, keep referring to his gayness, show him pining for his gay lovers, and then never actually let him be gay.

Anyway, Alexander continues conquering the world, battling Fate and trying to keep the history of flawed men who met their doom from repeating itself. Stone gives us plenty of jittery battle scenes, complete with wailing strings and shrieking choirs on the soundtrack, but since the only character we care even remotely about is Alexander himself, these scenes are somewhat useless. His soldiers, though they have names, don't register as distinct characters; they're just Bearded Guy or Guy With One Eye or Guy Who's Too Pretty To Be A Soldier.

(The exception is Philotas, who turns out to be treacherous, whose name I remember only because I kept thinking they were saying "Flautas," which is my favorite Mexican dish. But, like Oliver Stone, I digress.)

The screenplay, by Stone, Christopher Kyle ("K-19: The Widowmaker") and Laeta Kalogridis, teems with outrageous dialogue, made outrageouser by the wide variety of inappropriate accents chosen apparently at random by the cast. After Rosario Dawson's "You love heem?," my favorite line is Colin Farrell shouting at his mother, "You birthed me in a sac of hate!" I cannot wait to blurt this out at Thanksgiving dinner.

Old Ptolemy tells us Alexander's "failure towered over other men's successes," but you wouldn't know it to watch the film. All Stone gives us is a succession of battles and scenes of half-hearted introspection, revealing almost nothing about the man Alexander, and even less about those around him. I honestly don't know what Stone was trying to do here. I wonder if even he does.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11182&reviewer=247
originally posted: 11/24/04 02:17:33
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User Comments

11/04/15 David Hollingsworth The accents are really annoying! 1 stars
8/16/12 Ed Not a bad movie. Does take a while to capture the scope and essence. 3 stars
8/15/09 Jeff Wilder Not great or even all that good. But I've seen worse. Better than King Arthur at least/ 2 stars
9/03/08 Alexandru Totir I don't know why many of you didn't like it. I think it's a great movie and I loved it. 5 stars
8/20/08 Shaun Wallner boring! couldnt watch the whole thing. 1 stars
7/10/08 L. Slusarczyk not that bad of a movie. Liked the final release the best of the 3. 3 stars
5/02/08 Max Sloppy, disjointed, pretentious, and lifeless. 1 stars
11/05/07 Tiffany Losco Leto is hott!!! 5 stars
9/24/07 Nicholas Maday Would have been better if Ptolemy hadn't been telling the whole story. 2 stars
7/29/07 Samantha it was different than other stuff we hear, but it was dramatic and passionate I loved it 5 stars
6/28/07 Anthony Irish accents ruined the whole movie 1 stars
1/28/07 titwank incredible, epic, great music, fantastic story, masterpiece... 5 stars
1/22/07 sam i won't watch the movie if not required in my subject. eww! 1 stars
12/16/06 Briseis A complete flop, sorry 2 stars
12/14/06 The Deadly Assassin Oliver Stone messes up history 2 stars
11/10/06 cody a pretty ok film about the alexander, but flashbacks were mess up plot and kinded of gay. 3 stars
10/09/06 Steve Newman Took me three days to watch this on Sky plus - AVOID!!! 2 stars
9/15/06 Doremimi Hey, Angelina, say "Moose and Squirrel." 1 stars
9/07/06 Thomas Semesky A lot of miscast characters. How can you make a someone like Alexander so boring? 1 stars
4/27/06 Alana M. Barquero This was a pretty bad movie. I was forcing myself to watch it because it had Angelina Jolie 2 stars
4/24/06 Anthony Feor The word terrible at its best 1 stars
1/09/06 John Linton Roberson A sad, incomprehensible failure. 1 stars
11/07/05 Major Bludd Not that bad my friends... could have been much worse 4 stars
11/07/05 ELI Colin Farrell's nuts, that alone gets 4 stars. plus the movie was funny! :) 4 stars
10/24/05 David Really pretty boring, could have neen really awesome but totally missed the mark. Shameful. 2 stars
9/28/05 christopher matrisciano This movie was my favorite Irish film next to " In the Name of the Father". 2 stars
9/22/05 JM Troy is better, Alexander is homosexual 2 stars
9/20/05 Jonathon Holmes 100% garbage 1 stars
9/19/05 John he psyhedelic version of Alexander the Great - terrible 1 stars
9/07/05 Melina Deserves to be re-told - different director, cast and story 2 stars
9/02/05 dan mccarthy this is absolute garbage 1 stars
8/25/05 EZ Alexander the Great was great this film was extremley bad 1 stars
8/17/05 --- Too few battles, too much gay stuff, irish accents for greeks? 1 stars
8/16/05 john smith worse than that mistake platoon 1 stars
8/15/05 A Whittick A crass treatment of a potentially great subject matter, laughable at best - mainly crass 1 stars
8/14/05 .:*paris*:. its boring and i didnt understand the story.needs some work! 2 stars
8/12/05 Aldo I RATHER PICK MY NOSE.....ALEXANDER THE GAY 1 stars
8/08/05 snowcapsdean finally a movie that is outside the box with balls. 5 stars
8/05/05 Richard Simmons Ollie Stone is an overrated piece of s**t, and so are his movies. 1 stars
7/08/05 Moctezuma It wasn't that bad. 4 stars
5/17/05 Pippin007 Boring!! 1 stars
5/10/05 Simon If you want to know how to absolutely ruin an epic story via film, look no further. 1 stars
4/06/05 chris man critics need to get a clue they always whine about wanting something difftrent 5 stars
3/25/05 Greg Ursic I've never checked my watch that many times during a movie. Stone sucks! 1 stars
3/08/05 LarryV Better than expected 4 stars
3/02/05 Cassander Loved it 5 stars
3/02/05 michael weber EHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Shut up movie 1 stars
3/02/05 David Tsung this just reeks 1 stars
2/24/05 L.G. Ugh... and yuck. Hmmm... History Channel produces beter stuff. Almost fell asleep 1 stars
2/15/05 Melody Arneil For a good laugh watch it on DVD for Angelina Jolie's over the top performance 2 stars
2/11/05 Gabriel Jolivet what a bad movie !!!! do I need to say more !!! 1 stars
2/10/05 Sharon Davis Bad, unexpectedly bad 1 stars
2/07/05 Jeff Anderson A TOTAL BOTCH! Miscast left & right, lots of historical mistakes, & boring to boot!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
2/07/05 marky i love you baby!!! 1 stars
2/04/05 bongeezer Awesome....LY BAD!!!! 1 stars
2/04/05 COlleen GOldrick regretfully not a good one 2 stars
2/03/05 craig varney loved it great escapism 5 stars
2/03/05 Debbi Kalstein disapointing 2 stars
2/03/05 ss OMG! I cant say enough about this movie.. Go see it 4 stars
2/03/05 Kent B. Borrrrrinnnggggggggg zzzzzzzzzzzzzz 2 stars
2/02/05 Clifford C Gardner weak - Colin is out of his depth 2 stars
2/01/05 Naka HAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. 1 stars
2/01/05 Mark McConnell totally misunderstood - more important technical battle scenes than lotr 5 stars
1/30/05 caro awful 1 stars
1/29/05 clarance the cobra sucked balls...collin farrel is the biggest fagget and worst actor 1 stars
1/27/05 The Lurchprong Splitter Loses steam after the first 2 hours. Alexander shouldn't've gone to India. 3 stars
1/25/05 Jo-Art Oliver Stone is no Peter Jackson 1 stars
1/20/05 malcolm the longest road trip in history. rosario dawson nekkit was definitely the highlight. 3 stars
1/13/05 pym Stone should lose his license over this one. A big, cheese oozing pile of mumbo-jumbo. 1 stars
1/08/05 keithers.. Made durning the epic craze after lord of the rings 2 stars
1/07/05 flor hidalgo It was a movie I would rent if I have nothing else to do on a sunday. My husband just slept 3 stars
1/07/05 LL great film. dont know what these yanks are talking about (i think theyre all homophobic) 5 stars
12/26/04 Tom Troy and Gladiator were much better films, R Crowe, B Pitt better in Lead roles 2 stars
12/15/04 kev boy best film i've seen in along time......way to go OLIVER!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/12/04 UMER GLADIATOR-mania should really now stop after this . 2 stars
12/12/04 Kevin I actually enjoyed the film. It wasn't that bad. U can't really judge a movie thats a bio. 4 stars
12/11/04 nitram Alexander assasinated by Oliver Stone! 1 stars
12/11/04 john overdone psychadelic version of Alexander's life - fails in a big way 1 stars
12/10/04 Christie Robnett Very well done movie. Farrell was excellent in this role. Oscar nomination? 4 stars
12/08/04 Kristina Williams Rosario dawson is in it, so it was bound to bomb. 1 stars
12/07/04 Ricardo Never seen s film fail in so many directions simultaneously! 1 stars
12/06/04 wes todd worse battle scenes ever! 2 stars
12/05/04 Jennifer i loved this film! 5 stars
12/05/04 DTree They needed to focus on what made Alexander Great, instead of his romance with Hephastion 2 stars
12/04/04 KayCe Whitacre It is simpply titled "Alexander" because it is so far from "The Great" that we deserve. 1 stars
12/03/04 Michael Alexander, the mother hating, gay porn star. 1 stars
12/03/04 Denise good 3 stars
12/03/04 JL awesome in some parts, but lags in others however its awesome 5 stars
12/03/04 jesna BRILLIANT!! 5 stars
12/02/04 Catholic One of the best action, slashing, war movies I have seen in a while. 5 stars
12/01/04 Ashley This movie portrayed Alexander as a whiny brat and didn't show his military genius 1 stars
12/01/04 Punker omg this sucked nutz 1 stars
12/01/04 Al Guy I knew this was a bad idea. Yuk. 1 stars
11/30/04 A. Newman It was total crap. it could have, no should have, been better 1 stars
11/30/04 Naka "Gay thing" or no gay thing, this movie SUCKS UTTERLY. Stone is a failure. 1 stars
11/30/04 Lyu I'd rather have lung cancer than having to watch this shit again.It was that bad. 1 stars
11/30/04 Mohit Ahuja this movie is a load of crap ! 1 stars
11/28/04 John Keenan mired down, too much homo, story misses Alexander's greatness 2 stars
11/28/04 Alex Montesino To all you bigots, Alexander the Great was GAY! Get over it! 3 stars
11/27/04 calvin fag flick 1 stars
11/27/04 Alexandra And people wonder why Europe hates Americans!!!. European hero turned into flaming gay! 1 stars
11/27/04 T@T homo crap total waste of time 1 stars
11/26/04 carl fun, critics are so knit picky wanabe directors..it's ok not to have to see everything 5 stars
11/26/04 Chuck One of the worse movies I have ever seen. 1 stars
11/26/04 luke hopkins and kilmer were good everyone else at best average 3 stars
11/26/04 Naka Hahahahaha and this thing had OSCAR BUZZ?! lol nope! 1 stars
11/26/04 STANZ WORST MOVIE EVER!! OLIVER SHOULD BE ASHAMED!! 1 stars
11/26/04 jcjs i enjoyed it...critics are way too harsh with this...i don't know why 4 stars
11/26/04 Shane WORST MOVIE EVER!!! FUCK THIS REALLY SUCKED MORE THAN NETHING COULD EVER SUCK!!! 1 stars
11/25/04 the greatest hitchcock movie until psycho, i love it and the cats and! people that dont like this film think there smarter than everyone that does, those pussies. 3 stars
11/25/04 sens4evr 3 hours of my life... gone... wasted... 1 stars
11/25/04 Andy Greschner Alexander the Great? Really? You sure? Alexander the gay waffler? Yeah, thats more like it 1 stars
11/25/04 vagile Alexander the Great on bizarro world maybe. 1 stars
11/24/04 MARZ great film. gotta see it again! 5 stars
11/24/04 gregory neil What a self important flop 1 stars
11/24/04 Arid History for the dummies: directed by one, and acted by another 1 stars
11/22/04 Kristina Williams Saw this at my campus. Not Troy bad, but not Spartacus good. 3 stars
11/20/04 atanu Ultra crap. somebody put a stop to the overrated fucker farrell 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  24-Nov-2004 (R)
  DVD: 27-Feb-2007

UK
  N/A

Australia
  20-Jan-2005


Directed by
  Oliver Stone

Written by
  Oliver Stone

Cast
  Colin Farrell
  Angelina Jolie
  Anthony Hopkins
  Val Kilmer
  Jared Leto
  Rosario Dawson



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