(Review originally written at 26 October 2005)

"The Alamo" is by no means a terrible movie but it also is far from a memorable and impressive one.

My biggest complaint about this movie is the way the story is brought. The story is told like it's a 10 parts mini-series. The story is filled with all kinds of (unintersting) personal struggles and motivations of the characters. There are many slow moments in the movie in which really nothing interesting happens and at times too much 'blah' is going on. Also the characters are just totally brought wrongly to the screen. First of all, there are too many characters introduced in the movie without that any of them are ever fleshed out. People who have no knowledge of American history and the story of the Alamo in particular will have an hard time understanding who all these characters are and what their exact motivations are. It was also kind of cheap by the filmmakers to put all kinds of ethnics groups in the movie and they concentrate on them too much. That whole thing with the Mexican and African-American volunteers inside the Alamo was completely unnecessary and it felt forced. Perhaps another good example of what I exactly mean with that the story was told like an 10 part mini-series. It was like the filmmakers wanted to be completely political correct in every aspect. Of course there also are some inevitable patriotic moments but in this case I can live with them.

Another character problem was the main villain. The villain, Santa Anna is not portrayed like an historical person but like a typical stereotypical Hollywood villain instead, or James Bond villain as many people often refers his character to. He is too over-the-top mean, ruthless and just completely heartless. It makes the character a totally unbelievable one.

The casting of the movie is also completely wrong. Dennis Quaid was truly horrible and he went way over-the-top with his character and accent in particular. Why one Earth the ever casted Jason Patric is also still a mystery. This guy has totally no charisma. Thankfully there still is Billy Bob Thornton who seemed to be the only one that portrayed his character correctly and in a good and somewhat fun way.

For me the battle sequences were also somewhat disappointing. They failed to impressive me and the sense of scale was missing at times. Still you can tell that they were made with lots of profession and skills involved, it had some good looking effects.

It's a still somewhat entertaining movie to watch, even though there are some slow moments in the movie I was never really bored. It's an enjoyable movie to watch but it simply never becomes impressive or even emotionally powerful, even though the story of the Alamo itself is of course a powerful and heroic on its own. So, remember the Alamo but forget this movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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