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When "Gladiator" meets "Titanic", it even pisses certain volcanoes off. But not even good old Vesuvius can erupt fast enough to prevent this movie from turning into an incredibly cliché riddled one, that's filled to the brim with bad content.

Ever since "Gladiator", all other gladiator movies are pretty redundant and pointless any way, so I also don't really understand why some movies still keep trying. And no, this movie is not just similar to "Gladiator" because it happens to feature some gladiator characters in it but it's similar because it totally 'borrows' entire scenes (even the soundtrack is quite similar) and characters from it. And like that wasn't bad enough already, it also continuously decides to 'borrow' from "Titanic", including some of its worst and most formulaic clichés. Seriously, what were they thinking? Did they honestly think that no one would notice and they would be able to get away with it? It's not like "Titanic" isn't one of the most seen movies of all times and "Gladiator" only was seen by an handful of people and didn't helped to popularize and redefine the genre at all.

And sure, movies of course constantly rip each other off but this movie is doing it very blatantly, without any form of creativity or sense of dignity. That's really what bothers me the most and more so than the fact that it turns the movie into an incredibly clichéd one.

It's ridicules how the movie expects us to care about- and feel involved with the love story between two people who hardly even know each other and aren't that well developed as characters to begin with. As you probably would have guessed already, the love-story pretty much is the centerpiece of the movie and it doesn't matter to the movie that the whole world is going to hell, people are dying left and right, as long as the two main characters are alright and will end up being together, to live happily ever after. The movie its priorities are all messed up and often instead of focusing on bringing entertainment, it tries to be more dramatic and romantic, while it's clearly lacking the right type of story and writing for it.

Maybe it's because of the writing and poor character development but the acting in this movie is quite horrible as well. Kit Harington (isn't that a Star Wars name?) really isn't charismatic or likable enough as our main 'hero' and Emily Browning is pretty bland as well. Even Kiefer Sutherland, who's normally perfectly capable of playing a good and strong main villain, is incredibly weak and disappointing in this movie. All the more reasons why this movie as a whole feels like an extremely forgettable and bad one.

Every little thing that happens in this movie is very predictable. Maybe not just due to the writing itself but also certainly due to how things get built up like. Nothing ever comes as a real surprise and you pretty much beforehand know who's going to die and often also when and how.

Even the action feels weak and really isn't always shot too well, which is surprising and odd to note, seeing how Paul W.S. Anderson is a very experienced director when it comes down to doing action.

And while the movie obviously wasn't a cheap one to make, it still at the same time has a real cheap look and feel to it. It's hard to put my finger on but things just look too fabricated and never realistic enough. It's annoying when movies aren't really even trying anymore and simply just CGI everything, such as backgrounds and most of the big action sequences.

Also annoying how this movie pretends to be a very violent one, with lots of people dying, getting stabbed, crushed and everything else in between, yet, it's never really showing you anything at all. There hardly is any blood and the movie its cuts and camera angles ensure that you can never quite see what's happening. Then what's the point of all of the violence and action in this movie, if you are not going all the way and show us everything.

A very cliché and weak, unimaginative, movie.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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