04 September 2008

Mongol (2007)

I've been hearing a little bit of hype for this movie and was expecting a pretty great time. Instead I left feeling like I'd been taken for a ride. There were plenty of good things, such as the cinematography, the acting, and the basic story line, but there were an equal number of ridiculous things. First off, where was the motivation? In films like Gladiator or Braveheart, we see the hero acquire skills, get motivated, and then kick some ass. In Mongol, a young Genghis Khan basically runs around, turns on his friends, and then somehow defeats his enemies with weather.

Don't be upset if I'm ruining the story for you. The Wikipedia entry for Genghis Khan was more interesting than the movie. Plus, it's never a good sign when you see horseshoes flashing during the opening scene when the Mongols reputedly didn't use horseshoes. So much for attention to detail.

The movie isn't historically accurate of course, and I didn't expect it to be, but even as a myth making piece, it was overly long and just confounding in how little of it makes sense. Having said that, I'd definitely watch the second one (of a proposed trilogy) because the set up here allows Genghis to kick ass and take no prisoners in the next film. Strangely enough, this was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar. Don't believe the hype.

The best thing I read post watching the film was one critic's hope that the second volume would be called "Mongol II: The Wrath of Khan." Genius!