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A famous general who became a fearless slave then a mighty gladiator is the theme for the movie Gladiator. Russell Crowe is Maximus, the general of the powerful Roman army. Maximus is loved by the Caesar Marcus Aurelius and hated by the Caesar’s son, Commodus. Commodus kills Marcus Aurelius to speed up his ascension to the position of Caesar, and orders his men to kill Maximus. Maximus makes a grand escape but ends up the property of a slave trader. Meanwhile, the Roman army has taken over the known world and Commodus thinks the people will become bored with no battles to fight. He begins sending gladiators into the Coliseum to fight or die. Unknown to Commodus, Maximus is sold to be a Gladiator and fight in the Coliseum. He is fast, smart and strong and wins all his fights in the Coliseum; whether it’s against 10 men, a dozen soldiers in chariots, or man-eating tigers. (Sounds like Rambo in a Toga.) Maximus’ only goal is to get close enough to kill Commodus before he is recognized under his helmet. After winning all his fights and becoming the greatest gladiator in the Roman Empire, he is brought before Commodus in the coliseum and ordered to take off his helmet. When the crowd sees Maximus they go wild after they see their beloved general and mighty champion. This will remind you of old fashioned action films. It has loss, courage, revenge and good battling evil. The script and dialogue were weak at times, but you don’t notice because the fast paced story pulls you in. My wife on the other hand didn’t go for the action. Like many women she wanted to see Russell Crowe in his gladiator outfit. She said I didn’t have to be jealous, because he looks like Richard Simmons. Right! I’m blind – not dead. I’m giving this very entertaining film a B rating.

This movie has been given an R rating by the MPAA