The Alamo John Lee Hancock

The Alamo John Lee Hancock
Like Pearl Harbor and Master and Commander before it, The Alamo carries on an unfortunate trend of recent historical war epics, in that outside of some remarkable battle sequences, nothing of any real consequence actually occurs during these tediously long films. This thread is particularly remarkable given the vested interest that the filmmakers claim to have had in bringing these tales to the big screen. Like Master's Peter Weir, The Alamo has a truly emotionally engaged director at its helm in John Lee Hancock. A key aspect of featurettes such as "Deep In The Heart Of Texans" and "Return Of The Legend" is to demonstrate how significant the 1836 battle at the Alamo is to Texans like Hancock. As American history tells it, this is the tale of 200 U.S. men who sacrificed their lives defending the infamous San Antonio fort for 13 bloody days against the army of Mexican dictator Santa Anna. The American and Tejano men battling the Mexicans are led by three men: Lt. Col. William Travis (Patrick Wilson), James Bowie (Jason Patric) and the legendary David Crockett (Billy Bob Thornton). While Santa Anna's army won the battle and killed these three leaders, the war was eventually won by U.S. forces led by Sam Houston (Dennis Quaid), who forced the Mexican warlord to his knees and secured territorial ownership of Texas. Though performances by Patric and Thornton as two of American history's most legendary figures are compelling, by and large the other character studies conducted in this film fall flat. As the featurettes suggest, the jewels of the film are the innovatively filmed battle sequences, as well as the incredible set reconstruction of the Alamo and San Antonio as they might have appeared in the 19th century. Here is where Hancock's passion for this story truly soars despite being weighed down by an otherwise dull analysis of the famous personalities involved. Plus: "Walking in the Footsteps of Heroes," deleted scenes. (Touchstone/Buena Vista)