Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ickiness Maximus

Those of you who've been reading this blog a while may remember my issues with one Mr. Russell Crowe.  First I was worried he'd ruin Robin Hood.  Then I saw Robin Hood, and was like, eh, he was okay, I guess.

Well, after that, I decided to grit my teeth and go watch Gladiator.   

Cuz, you know, I'd heard it was pretty good.  I can't remember where I heard that.  Maybe the Oscars.  I'd also heard it was violent.  But I figured, if I could make it through Beowulf, 300, and Tombstone, I could certainly handle 2 more hours of ye olde blood and gore.

So, to those of you who haven't seen it -- warning -- spoiler alerts, etc.

I counted eight beheadings.

Forty-three dismemberments.

Three hundred and thirty-eight stabbings.

And a pony fell down.

Also, two tigers died for the cause.

GROSS, Ridley Scott.  Just gross!

But there's something in the movie that's even scarier than all of that...

See, there's this guy named Commodus, and he's played by Joaquin Phoenix...

Yes, Joaquin Phoenix. AKA little "Leif" Phoenix from Parenthood, the punk kid who destroyed his father's dentist office in a fit of anger and had to be educated in manhood studies by Keanu Reeves, but turns out okay (and relatively unscathed) in the end.

Well, heh, Joaquin Phoenix's wrongdoings in Gladiator make "destroying daddy's dentist office" look as mundane as jaywalking on a deserted highway.


How evil is he?  Let me put it this way.  He makes these guys...

 (The Joker - murderer, sociopath)

 (Hans Gruber - terrorist, murderer)

 (Lord Voldemort - dictator, murderer)

look like THESE guys...

Don't believe me?  Here's a short list of Commodus's crimes in the 2 hours we get to spend with him:

-He kills his own elderly father while HUGGING HIM
-He orders Russell Crowe killed (Russell escapes)
-He orders the gruesome deaths of Russell's family (that goes through)
-Later, he taunts Russell about how his family died
-He threatens to kill his own nephew
-He forces his sister to be his lover
-He tries to kill Russell Crowe in the coliseum with tigers
-He kills Russell's friend
-He kills Russell's mentor
-And, in the end, he stabs Russell and then sends him out to the arena to fight.

He's such a terrible, arrogant, punkass psycho, that when he faces in Russell in the end, and Russell kicks his ass (despite being wounded), it is nothing short of awesome.  GO, RUSSELL, GO!

And even though I know it's just a movie and Russell's just playing a character... well, darnit, I like that character.  I'm totally behind that character.  He kicks booty.  Specifically Joaquin Phoenix's evil booty.  And for that, he gets a Gold Star in my book.

So that's 2 for 2, Russell Crowe.  You're on my good side, now.  At least until you go on another phone-throwing spree.  Yeah, we all have our dark moments, but come on!

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