Compiled by: Jack Foley
IT WAS designed to be one of this year's epics at the cinema
- another of those sweeping, all-action, heroic adventures, about
one of the great tragedies of American history.
Not only that, but it was supposed to further the legend created,
onscreen, by John Wayne.
But US critics have failed to be impressed with the remake of
The Alamo (starring Jason Patric, Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis
Quaid), referring to it as a bore, which conforms to many Hollywood
Leading the disappointing notices is USA Today, which
wrote that 'the movie is a mild compeller for history buffs, and
occasionally it's better than that. But the teenage mall rats,
on whom box office success largely depends, are more likely to
zoom away in Alamo rental cars'.
While the Los Angeles Times wrote that 'for all the gun
smoke, the image of the fort's defenders silhouetted against a
blood-red Texas sky and the unrelenting bombast of Carter Burwell's
score, the filmmakers never make the case why we should remember
The Chicago Tribune noted that it 'plays like your standard-issue
modern war movie'.
And the New York Times wrote that 'in re-enacting the
actual events surrounding the storied 1836 battle, this oppressively
solemn historical-action movie is both elegiac and trivial'.
Slightly more positive (as there were some good notices), was
Newsday, which opined that 'while the battle scenes Hancock
conducts are symphonic in their concussive confusion and chaos,
it's in the characterization that the film achieves some gravitas'.
And CNN felt that 'in addition to the way the now-mythic
characters are brought down to a human level, the best thing about
this production of The Alamo is that Hancock has made everything
look and feel so authentic'.
Better still, was the New York Daily News, which wrote
that 'Alamo buffs will be delighted, and everyone else will be
treated to something that feels like Old Hollywood crossed with
The Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, referred to it as 'a
respectable and at times an exciting film that should appeal to
males of all ages, history buffs and - yes, it's inevitable -
And Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote that it is 'a superlative
character-driven epic that honors both the varied truths and the
varied myths surrounding a battle that pitted less than 300 Texans
and Tejanos against General Antonio López de Santa Anna
and several thousand Mexican troops'.
But Detroit News wrote that 'tt offers no great insights
into the majority of its characters or the politics of the time;
it is not the proudest or most shameful moment for any member
of its cast; and it is neither overly long or dumbly abrupt. It's
simply what it is'.
And the New York Post lamented that 'despite Thornton's
yeoman efforts and a remarkable 52-acre set, you're more apt to
forget The Alamo than to remember it'.
Variety, meanwhile, declared that it is 'a historically
credible but overly prosaic account of the most celebrated episode
in the creation of an Americanized Texas'.
And Entertainment Weekly concludes this round-up, by stating
that it 'never harmonizes into a cinematic experience any more
resonant than the average, manly, why-we-fight pic, or coalesces
into a stirring cry for freedom'.
The film opens in the UK later this year.