Saturday, October 13, 2007

Movie Review: Elizabeth - The Golden Age

The Mrs. and I were out at Arundel Mills Mall and decided to see Elizabeth - The Golden Age at the Muvico Egyptian Theater. The theater has over 20 stadium sized screens. Unfortunately, this movie was relegated to a smaller theater.

The movie itself was quite impressive. An all-star cast including Cate Blanchett as the Queen, Geoffrey Rush as Sir Francis Wallsingham and Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh delivered fantastic performances. The dialog was quick and witty, the plot was engaging. The sets were impressive. And the costumes were very detailed.

Unfortunately, what started off as a colorful period piece turned into a gigantic video game. The director used computer generated images of the Spanish Armada setting forth to conquer England. He then morphed Queen Elizabeth into Joan of Arc, complete with long, flowing locks of hair, full battle armor and a poor attempt at a pre-battle rally speech before the impending doom to be delivered by the Spanish Armada.

The director also rewrites history. He moves the final battle to English Channel and neglects to mention much of the Armada survives the initial engagements, then sails around the British Isles but ends up losing significant ships to a hurricane off the western coast of Ireland. Very disappointing. I won't spoil the ending, but the fact you are reading this in English and not Spanish is a good indication of how things did turn out.

If you are a history buff and/or enjoy watching Blanchett, Rush or Owen act on the big screen you will enjoy the movie. But the battle scenes are not very impressive and are only worth the price of a DVD rental.