Number of Times Seen – at least 10 times (Theater 13 Jul 2000, Video, DVD, 19 Jan 2015 and 28 Jul 2019)
Link to original review – Here
Brief Synopsis – A widower with seven children does all he can to try and protect them during the Revolutionary War despite the fact that his military past keep coming back to haunt him.
My Take on it – This is a film that I have loved ever since the first time I saw it on opening day slightly over 19 years ago.
They do an amazing job with the story and despite the fact that it isn’t based on fact, they help us see the horror of the way battles were fought back then in a very realistic and brutal fashion.
Mel Gibson was perfectly cast in the lead role here and plays both the patriarch and the brave and courageous soldier roles really well.
Both aspects come across as being quite realistic.
The film is filled with great special effects that help enhance the battle re-enactments and make them look even more realistic and much more dangerous.
The film is quite long and its 3 hour run time is perfect since it allows tie to develop many of the characters so we can care even more about them and what will happen to them during the course of this film.
John Williams is able to create an amazing theme for this film that feels so patriotic and also makes one think that they are listening to something composed at the time that this film takes place, largely due to the flute solos.
Check it out here:
Besides Gibson, the supporting cast is superb and Jason Isaacs, Heath Ledger, Tom Wilkinson, Chris Cooper and Tcheky Karyo all allow for things to stay interesting and enjoyable throughout.
The idea that this film utilizes about soldiers using guerilla tactics during the Revolutionary War is a very original adn innovative idea that works despite the fact that it is not based on fact at all.
Bottom Line – Amazing film about the Revolutionary War that despite the fact that it isn’t based on fact, helps us see the true horror of those kind of battles. Gibson is perfect in the role of patriarch/soldier and manages to keep both aspects feeling quite realistic. The special effects are superbly done and this allows the battle reenactments to look even more realistic and dangerous. The run time of 3 hours is used really well because it allows enough time to develop many of the characters which makes the viewer care about what will happen to each of them. The music by John Williams is superb and gives off a very patriotic feel that could have been composed on the battlefields shown. The supporting cast led by Isaacs, Ledger, Wilkinson, Cooper and Karyo also help keep things interesting throughout. The idea to add guerilla warfare to the kind of way battles were fought back then is innovative and despite it’s lack of truth, works really well here. Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – During a rough day of filming, Producer Dean Devlin noticed most of the extras looking tired and stressed from doing several takes, while wearing heavy costumes in the one hundred degree South Carolina heat. During a break, Devlin suggested to Mel Gibson that he recite his famous “freedom” speech from Braveheart (1995) to cheer them up. Gibson got on a horse and proceeded to give the speech, which he still had memorized, boosting their morale. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)
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