Story by: Jack Foley
OLIVER Stone's historical epic has taken a mauling from the critics
in America, many of whom lamented the torturous running time (2
hours and 50 minutes), and the toll it takes on the bottom.
The film, which reportedly cost in excess of $150m to make, stars
Colin Farrell as the legendary conqueror who, by the age of
32, had amassed one of the greatest empires in the known world.
But the New York Times spoke for many when it
wrote that the film suffers from 'puerile writing, confused plotting
and shockingly off-note performances'.
While the Dallas Morning News felt that 'Alexander
has aspirations of greatness, hoping to be christened an intellectual
super-spectacle for brainy moviegoers, but the sad truth is that
it will probably numb more brain cells than it will stimulate'.
Disappointed, too, was the Washington Post,
which wrote that 'it's boring here and exciting there. And it's
almost always goofy'.
While the Los Angeles Times lamented that 'there's
nothing fresh about this plodding endeavour, nowhere it goes that
other films have not gone before'.
Worse still was The Philadelphia
Inquirer, which opined: "So misconceived, so shrill,
so fetishy is Oliver Stone's epic, so unintentionally hilarious
a stew of paganism and Freudianism, that it makes Conan the Barbarian
look like Gladiator."
And the San Francisco Chronicle felt that it
is 'epic in scale but not epic in spirit, a wallow in carnage
that fails to demonstrate what was so great about this conqueror,
Entertainment Weekly stated that 'everything
we're told about Alexander remains an abstraction, an index-card
idea for a character pasted onto Farrell's less-than-mythic presence'.
While CNN felt that it is 'a ponderous death march of a story
that seemingly never ends'.
Worse still, was USA Today, which concluded
that 'this is Stone's weakest movie of the past 20 years, and
it's unlikely to make any kind of blip'.
On a slightly more upbeat note, Philadelphia Weekly
referred to it as 'Oliver's most stupidly awesome (and awesomely
stupid) movie since The Doors'.
While Time Magazine felt that it's 'a long,
lumpy trip with a charismatic guide and some brilliant detours'.
And the Houston Chronicle felt that 'Stone's
failures with this film are largely honorable, but occasionally
he miscalculates and strikes so badly off-key that he seems tone
But the final word goes to Variety, which concluded
by stating that Alexander is 'an intelligent and ambitious picture
that crucially lacks dramatic flair and emotional involvement'.