The film combines the best of the peplum, spectacular scenarios, action, human feelings and the best way to make an uchronia, with a history and solid characters that the actors make even more firm of what they are.
Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix are perhaps the best of the film, a transcendent and memorable film that embodies the resurrection of the genre and the best you can find in an epic film.
The slave who became a Gladiator.
The Gladiator who defied an Emperor.
A striking story ..."
So reads part of the script, with that particular line spoken by Joaquin Phoenix's Emperor Commodus towards the end of the film, and with (most of) it being used as part of the advertising for the film, with Russell Crowe as that General/Slave/Gladiator. This was also Oliver Reed's last film, passing away during the shooting of it which led to some scenes being re-worked and others having him digitally inserted into the proceedings.
In many ways, this is also the film that led to a resurgence of 'historical epic' films although, to date, none have lived up to this one. The fact that this also has a great soundtrack and some brilliant battle sequences probably also helps!
Did the movie give us any reason to LIKE the protagonist other than he's not the bad guy?
"I'm doing this for my dead wife whom I'll see in the afterlife, but let's makeout!" Did Romans even believe in an afterlife?
DOES Russell Crowe's character have superpowers? Reverse headbutt from kneeling position with a sword above him, sword-throwing, seeing his family killed from far away.
How did the dad die? And the wife and kid?
Does anyone else think that Joaquin looks, acts, talks, and has the same plor as Ramsay Bolton?!
This bugs me in so many movies but we see many cultures and they all speak English, but only the bad guys speak a foreign language?!