21 December 2018 | rrstewart-53923
Reviewers did gross injustice to this film
When this film came out in 2004, almost every review in the media (with the notable exception of Ebert) was roundly negative. When I first saw it about a year later, I held my breath, expecting to hold my nose, but was utterly surprised by how different my own take was from that of the pundits. Between the incredibly detailed and historically accurate sets, costumes and other production details, to the extensive character development, exposition of historical context and superb acting, I was left wondering if I had seen the same film as the one the legion of professional opinion makers saw, who torpedoed it. In watching it again, my opinion has only grown over time, and as one who has read more extensively on the subject, I can only conclude that the meanness with which it was treated had all the makings of a deliberate, coordinated effort, as most of these negative reviews dwelt on relatively minor imperfections while making no mention whatsoever of the superb attention to historical detail, the wonderful acting, and not least, the fact that for the first time Santa Anna and numerous others in his officer corp were given names and acted like 3-dimensional characters.
Apparently much of the contemporary dismay of many upon viewing it is that it was not like John Wayne's 1960 effort of the same title (which also bombed at the box office), which gave a totally one-sided view of history, replete with two-dimensional characters uttering jingoistic pieties like "freedom" and "republic" without mentioning that the "freedom" was all about the freedom to have slaves!
Sure, the film could have been better. Apparently original director Ron Howard had asked for a budget of nearly double the one finally secured, which would undoubtedly have allowed for more visual effects, with more detailed battle scenes, but no movie is perfect and considering what they film makers did achieve, I think it is only right that The Alamo (2004) be given a second look.