Horatio Hornblower - The Adventure Continues
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"Retribution" starts with Commodore Pellew revealed to be one of three officers hearing the court martial proceedings. The episode is a series of flashbacks as various characters are question by the board. All of these flashbacks take place immediately after the incidents in "Mutiny." The senior officers of the Renown decided that if they are going to face a court martial anyway when the get back to port, they might as well do some good by taking the Spanish fort. This they do thanks to Hornblower's cleverness. But soon the English are forced to abandon the fort when they discover the Spanish have been under siege for months by an army of revolting slaves. The episode gets deeper with 1st Lt. Buckland, now in command of Renown, showing that he's not a very good commander. Hornblower has the respect of most of the men and Buckland becomes slightly jealous of this fact. By the time the Renown gets back to port, Hornblower has even managed to win the respect of a low-level officer (midshipman?Read more ›
Reuniting most of the cast from the first four films (based on Forrester's "Mr. Midshipman Hornblower" - not requiered viewing to enjoy these two, but HIGHLY reccomended!). Ioan Gruffud is still perfectly cast as Hornblower, and Robert Lidsay is still fantastic as Commodore Pellew. David Warner, however, steals every scene with his textured portrayal of Captain Sawyer, a once-great hero who feels his sanity slipping away from him. He manages to evoke some sympathy despite his cruel actions. And speaking of action, these films feature ship battles, sword fights, and a seige on a Spainsh fort, all done in spectacular cinematic fashion. These films are a must-see for fans of swashbucklers, and devotees of Forrester's novels (or those of Patrick O'Brien, Alexander Kent, etc.). Sci-fi fans should also note that Hornblower was the inspiration behind Captain Kirk and David Weber's Honor Harrington, and may enjoy this "source material". I can't wait for a third set of films!!
It is so refreshing to see a wonderful story, with outstanding acting, direction, etc. without relying too heavily on complicated special effects. With that said, I would like to state that the sequences with the model ships were outstanding yet again!
Because I have so enjoyed the Hornblower series on DVD, I have eagerly read all the Hornblower reviews by you long-time Hornblower fans.
Being a fairly new fan of just one year, I have recently learned here on this site, that CS Forrester had written a series of 11 books about Hornblower's career. I have purchased and read Mr. Midshipman Hornblower. What an excellent book! Looking forward to reading the remaining 10 books and hope more televison movies will be made!
This time around, the waters are murkier, the villain(s)more multi-dimensional, the choices harder as Horatio walks a fine line between strictly following the rules and saving his ship from certain catastrophe.
How do you deal with an unstable captain, an incompetent 1st lieutenant and a mission that's "heading for disaster?"
As usual, Horatio's intelligence, pluck and willingness to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY (unlike some characters I could mention) save the day, but not without mistakes on his part--and not without a price.
The supporting cast is brilliant: standout performances are given by Nicholas Jones, who embodies Buckland's dichotomy of well-meaning incompetence and self-serving vindictiveness and Phillip Glenister, whose Hobbs makes the transition from Sawyer's apologist to a man who is able to recognize and appreciate in Hornblower all the leadership qualities that Sawyer himself once possessed.
David Warner as Sawyer is a horrific, yet sympathetic Sawyer, and despite his cruel actions of the present, gives us fleeting glimpses of the great captain he once was.
The center of the piece is still Horatio, and Gruffudd plays him with just the right mixture of subtlety and elan. The sequence in "Mutiny" when Sawyer discovers Horatio sleeping on watch is exquisitely played by Gruffudd. We see--in a space of seconds-- Horatio's shock, near-panic, despair, fear, loathing, and bewilderment just from Gruffudd's reation shots alone.
First, my wish is that the actual filming could have taken place at sea instead of on a stationary set, but that is a minor (MINOR!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Horatio Hornblower adventures is an excellent historical fictional series. Great for those who like sea fairing adventure movies.Published 5 months ago by USAF24
A fine tale of war between England, France And Spain on the high seas during the 1700.Published 8 months ago by MRD
This was a good movie but to me not as good as some of the other viewers said. It's a good watch the first time but I probably won't watch it too many times. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Movie girl
good for kids to see something that enforces some of the character and morality the bible speaks of. Wonderful for children to watch. Read morePublished 11 months ago by DWM
I enjoyed every moment of this rendition of the C. S. Forester's tales of the career of Horatio Hornblower in the British navy. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Gregory Bennett
I thought these were new stories and ordered them with the first set. I found out there are included in the first set.Published 12 months ago by Ronald H. Rapee
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