The Other Reason Cinco de Mayo Should be Celebrated
As of 2 days ago, it’s been 15 years since The Gladiator was released, and the world has been a better place because of it. (I was going to post this the day of, but it’s finals week, so yeah…)
Growing up I watched The Gladiator many a time with my dad, and I can still remember my first time. The distress at watching Marcus Aurelius die, the awe of Maximus’ character, and the crazy brutal fight scenes. If you’ve never seen it, I’d recommend taking roughly 2.5 hours to be enlightened to the wonder that is The Gladiator.
8 reasons you should stop everything you’re doing right now, and go watch The Gladiator
- Maximus Decimus Meridius- This guy is probably the most impressive guy I’ve ever seen (and I’m not just talking about his muscles and wicked cool fight scenes). His work ethic and capacity for leadership are phenomenal; from being a farmer in Spain he works his way up to become “commander of the Armies of the North, general of the Felix Legions”. His troops not only followed him, they loved and honored him. His leadership was a leadership that truly cared for the people he led. He also shows such depth of character in working to do what he saw as best for Rome even if it hurt him. His ability to walk away from his grief and to work to bring about what he knew was right even when almost everyone was against him, shows true depth of character.
- It revived an entire genre- there have been a ton of gladiator/roman battle movies as of late. (I.e. Troy, 300, Clash of the Titans, The Eagle, Centurion, Pompeii, Spartacus, etc.) Do yourself a favor and watch the movie that started the genre back up!
- The fight scenes- Wicked awesome. If you like action movies, you will love this movie. It has some of the most iconic gladiator style fight scenes ever. By no means do I condone the slaughter of innocent people for the entertainment of others, but it’s still pretty gnarly to watch.
- The score- If you don’t know what a score is… please go home. Seriously though, thank you, Hans Zimmer… The music for this movie is amazing, it sets the scenes so well and provides so much to the overall atmosphere of the movie. Seriously though, if you’d like just go listen to the score on spotify right now. You can literally follow the progression of the film just by listening to the score.
- CGI- don’t get me wrong, I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it is often credited as being the first film to truly successfully integrate both live action and CGI characters into environments composed of real set materials and CGI components, when in fact The Gladiator did this a year and a half prior to its release. Using CGI and archival footage, the makers of The Gladiator were even able to make scenes involving Oliver Reed after he tragically passed before completing the movie. Talk about being ahead of their time. Seriously though, this movie isn’t prop-y at all, it looks like it was really filmed in Rome.
- The Plot- yes, it is your traditional Good Guy seeks revenge for being wronged by Bad Guy movie, but the way it is told brings an entirely new light to this idea. I also strongly appreciate that there are no useless scenes. Everything that happens in this movie is flawlessly placed to further the story and maximize the stakes for the characters.
- The feels- You will feel so many things while watching this movie: fear, disgust, excitement, heart wrenching sorrow, stress. This movie will keep you enthralled and waiting to see how conflicts will be resolved.
- The Cast- The Gladiator’s cast is a phenomenal mix of well-known and less-familiar faces. With actors like Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, and Djimon Hounsou you know you can’t go wrong, plus Dumbledore’s Richard Harris even shows up!
There are plenty of other reasons to go watch this movie, but I don’t have the time to write them all out, so just take my advice, make yourself a better person and go watch The Gladiator!!
Grace and peace,