Friday, March 23, 2012


You don't find good adventure films nowadays. All the good ones are from the 1980's, and all of the new titles have too much CGI and not much else.

Thankfully Joe Johnston made Hidalgo, a nice blend of adventure and action. He doesn't depend on special effects or CGI to tell a tale. He relies on a good story, good actors and a lot of hands-on action for his film.

Hidalgo is about Frank Hopkins, played by Viggo Mortensen. Mortensen at the time was still in the supporting actor ranks, and Hidalgo was a major contributor into becoming a leading man. (Bear in mind the following year he was in A History of Violence, an even bigger contribution to his career.)

Mortensen plays Hopkins as someone with visible flaws. He knows he's not perfect, though he has a few redeeming qualities. He also possesses a few troubled demons as well. All in all, Hopkins is practically the definition of anti-hero.

In a way, Hidalgo is the kind of film Hollywood used to make on a regular basis. It has its flaws, sure, but the level of entertainment it's on makes up for them. Also, anyone who saw and liked Lawrence of Arabia or Gunga Din (or even better both) is bound to like Hidalgo.

My Rating: ****

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