Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut
Directed by Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone first told the tale of our favourite Macedonian conqueror at the length of 175 minutes. Then came the "directorís cutĒ DVD, which (perhaps mercifully) cut things down to 167 minutes. But now there is Stoneís "final cut,Ē which weighs in at a titanic 214 minutes, and he makes you pay for every heavy, unappetising second. No matter how many titles he flashes on the screen, Stone canít make you keep track of what happens in the battle scenes or catch the personalities of Alexanderís various comrades at arms. It isnít a movie, itís a dare, and as the director pours on the lighting and production design you donít really see what it is that attracted him to the material. Stone has been comparing presidents to royalty for a long time now (JFK was known as "your dying kingĒ) but I just donít get how a bitter veteran of a pointless colonial war could somehow hoist his bat for the biggest colonist of them all. Though Alexander eventually meets his Waterloo in a Vietnam-like quagmire in India, heís mostly lauded for bringing the world together beneath one banner no matter how many people died for it. Still, you have to dig for significance like that ó one doesnít get a sense of what happens in Alexanderís life so much as you get battered with various episodes told out of sequence and after a while you just cry uncle and wait for it to end. And as it even lacks the vulgar juice of vintage berserker Stone, the film looks like any other tired epic except for feeling twice as long. The only extra: a vague intro by the director himself.
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