16 December 2007 | sanduku
Brian Dennehy as Kublai Khan, and movie made by committee
I'm amazed-- did Dennehy never see or hear of "The Conqueror", starring John Wayne as Genghis Khan? Dennehy never get the belly laughs that John Wayne elicited, but-- why Brian, after such a stellar career???? The rest of the movie seems more than anything else a movie made by committee. My guess: somebody had a really brilliant idea, came up with a great story line, secured some of the greatest filming locations on Earth, and the future was very bright. Then one by one, people in the production process kept altering the plot, putting in formulaic details that were successful in other movies but inappropriate or laughable in this production (the martial arts fighting scenes come to mind), hiring on actors who were not at all fit for the parts, and the end result was this production that nobody actually owns or would really wish to own. It has so many great ingredients, but the movie should be a cautionary tale of just how bad of production can come from such great raw material. My condolences to all involved.
(having had a couple of days to think over the post): I don't want to be too hard on the actors in this production. Hollywood is filled with world-class talented actors who will find themselves acting in just about anything to keep working. All the lead actors in this production have shown phenomenal performances in other roles, and likely would have done wonderful things here if allowed. This movie is such a turkey because it's so badly produced and directed (and, yes, acted), and everyone in the production process can probably point out reasons why they personally were not responsible for the parts that suck. I really do offer my condolences to the cast, this could and should have been a world-class production.
My social-science take: high-budget turkeys like this are symptomatic of an organization where access to power and resources is become disconnected with any proved talent at using those resources wisely.