Alexander (2004)

After the failure of “Alexander”, Stone, always the conspiracy buff, used this excuse: “Alexander failed because of conservative opposition to homosexuality.” Which answers the question, what does a conspiracy theorist do when they fail? Make their failure in to a conspiracy. “No, it wasn’t my fault, it’s the government!” But if a heavily homosexually driven film like “Brokeback Mountain” could succeed why couldn’t a film with mild homosexual themes make it? Answer that one, Stoner. Did you ever think that perhaps your movie really sucks? Because it does. Never since “Caligula” have I seen such a cheesy, ridiculous, and utterly boring “epic” that fails to be as good as it tries to be. From Anthony Hopkins typical dramatic narration spelling the film out for us, right down to the sickeningly grandiose style it’s unashamed to flaunt, “Alexander” is a bad movie that will show all that the gladiator fad is over and done with. So quit it, y’hear?

Whether it’s watching Rosario Dawson’s character get in to a naked slap fight with Alexander as he hisses like a cat at her, watching Jolie scream like a hyena in the opening, watching Farrell’s head dress droop down over his eyes during the battle scenes, or hearing the constant forced dramatic dialogue from these actors, “Alexander” is constantly, a campy ridiculous piece of junk that Stone can’t admit failed because it was terrible. I couldn’t pick out what was funnier in this: Farrell as a sixteen year old boy? Farrell with a faux yellow wig that constantly grows? A Greek prince with an Irish accent? Or Angelina Jolie as his mother speaking with a Hindu accent for some odd reason? And does she do nothing but sit around waiting for Alexander so they can have an exchange of dialogue? And how many times must we be forced to watch these two actors exchange dialogue back and forth that’s both stilted and cliché? “Alexander” is oddly a very verbose action drama that sadly even fails to make the action exciting.

Meanwhile, Stone’s direction is brutally over the top with utterly nauseating set pieces, and humongous battle scenes that fail to bring any sense of excitement or tension to the screen. “Alexander” also has immensely forced melodrama, which is helped by its cast who all pull in horrible performances. Farrell is worst of all as the whiny, moaning, and utterly boring young war monger who declares he needs no one and then cries and moans when someone he loves dies, he has a cheesy yellow wig that goes from long to short in every other scene, and then there’s Angelina Jolie who gives a horrible performance as Alexander’s manipulative mother (Yes, I said mother) who obviously needs to do nothing but sit and wait for her son and then attempt to manipulate him.

And poor Val Kilmer has a small role as Alexander’s father who guides him and teaches him about kings. Maybe someone to should guide Stoner on how to create a coherent film. The worst crime here is that “Alexander” is brutally cheesy with endless monologue and dialogue exchanges, and really dull sequences of ancient politics. Stone’s opus is sadly misguided and pointless and when he can finally admit it, then I may gain some respect for him. This is ultimately “Alexander” as written by Danielle Steele, and that’s not a compliment. Though, director Oliver Stone will never admit it, “Alexander” is a failure with melodrama worthy of the “Lifetime” Network, bad acting, miscast characters, horrible dialogue, too much dialogue, and never enough texture to grant us interest in these people. It’s really bad, and it’s three hours I’ll never get back again.