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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon October 11, 2004
This was a pretty good concept movie that didn't quite work in the end. While most of what Gauis Julius Caesar is noted for is his life after crossing the Rubicon (to face Pompey and start a Roman civil war) his accomplishments prior to that phase of his life were quite interesting as well. Among the most salient of these was his duel with the Gallic commander known as Vercingetorix.

It is fitting that the Gallic hero is played by a French actor, Christopher Lambert. I've always liked Lambert, although he's been in plenty of bad movies. This one is more of the mediocre variety; decent, but not great.

Contrary to the story depicted in the film, Caesar and Vercingetorix were never best-buddies. Of course, I understand that this brings a bit more pathos to the tale when they are said to actually know each other. Historically speaking, however, this is nonsense.

There are some components of the film that score points insofar as historical veracity is concerned, however. The siege of Alesia is pretty accurate. As is portrayed in the film, Vercingetorix had a substantial advantage in manpower. His problem was coordinating their attacks and focusing the firepower he had at his disposal.

A few other things I didn't care for on the DVD. One, the special effects showing the comet at the beginning seemed to be vintage 1960s. I've seen low-budget films from the 1970s with better FX. Also, the site of Caesar's very own 10th Legion advancing to a pseudo-rock drumbeat was something I found to be strange & inappropriate.

All in all, if you're a buff of historical / period movies, this one might be worth a look. To this day they have re-creations of the ramparts and palisades of the siege of Alesia in France, and there is also a statue of Vercingetorix that extols him as a freedom fighter. While far from perfect, this film does in fact re-tell an important epoch of European history.
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