This movie is flashy, violent, and interesting, everything a summer movie needs to be. Of course, the story takes its roots from historical events, but the large part of Gladiator is fiction, and does not pretend to be anything else. Gladiator is a movie where the viewer can shut down his mind and let the sensory overload take over, all the way to the end of the film.
Russel Crowe, the ever changing actor, now morphs believably into action hero. His intense stare and deep voice perfectly fit his character. Joaquin Phoenix also glares his way into madness in an over the top performance that borders on theater stuff. However, most of the intrigue takes a second seat to the arena battles. All of the matches are excellently choreographed, violent, and bloody. Fights against tigers, chariots, archers, and other gladiators with swords, spears, tridents, and nets. Most of the large shots show the crowd from a distance, so the CGI characters do not look too fake. Overall, this movie borderlines on war epic, but its still just a summer movie.
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