A/V Room









US critics find Alexander not so Great

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, after all'.

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 deaf'.

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'.

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