29 November 2004

The Wrong Side of Mykonos

      Anthony Lane's review of Alexander in The New Yorker is a devastating series of pot-shots, and possibly the funniest review yet of a film that's been prone to elicit funny reviews. Check out this paragraph, ample evidence that Lane's not pulling any punches:

Alexander, born in 356 B.C., was the son of King Philip II of Macedonia and Olympias, one of his many wives; or, to put the matter in its most startling form, Colin Farrell is the son of Val Kilmer and Angelina Jolie. Wow. Given parentage of that calibre, the boy was never going to be your basic, middle-income Macedonian. Either he was going to conquer nation-states all the way from Athens to India, engraving his name in history, or he was going to wind up running a club called Oedipussy on the wrong end of Mykonos. There is certainly no love lost, in this movie, between Alexander and his father, but the amount of love earned, and wrestled over, between mother and son should have been enough to draw the attention of social services, better known as the god Apollo. Jolie is in her element here, bravely choosing to impersonate a Russian gangster in the delivery of her dialogue, and spending large portions of the film with a snake or two coiled around her person. “Her skin is wet. Her tongue is fire,” the Queen says of her favorite pet, although it could be the other way around. We are supposed to read these scenes as evidence of her exotic unknowability and pagan working practices, although, if half of what I hear is true, they resemble a perfectly normal day in the Jolie household.
Those sounds you're hearing are the repeated lashes and snaps of Lane's towel against the backsides of just about everyone and everything connected to the film. Ouch. I also like Lane's dig that Farrell plays Alexander "as if he had researched the life of Anne Heche by mistake." I speculated a long while ago that this movie was going to be a fiasco, but I surely didn't guess it would end up in the same kettle of film infamies as Cleopatra and Ishtar.

No comments:

Blog Archive