Gladiator, similar to the film Troy which I also reviewed, is set a long time in the past. However gladiator is takes place in a period which is a lot later on than Troy, being that the story is played out in the time of the height of the Roman Empire. The story follows Maximus, a soldier in the Roman army who is highly favoured by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, much to the annoyance of his jealous son Commodus. Upon the death of Emperor Maximums becomes suspicious about the circumstances and suspects that Commodus was responsible. Before Maximus has time to reveal to the senators and the public his theory about the new Emperor’s hand in his own father’s death Maximus is put under arrest and sentenced to death, along with his wife and son. After fighting to escape Maximus flees the Emperor, rushing to save his family from the death sentence passed on them.
Unfortunately he arrives too late, only to find his family butchered. In his despair and devastation he is picked up by a group of slave traders, finding himself being forced in to the gladiator training rings, literally fighting for his life. With a vendetta to avenge his murdered wife and child, Maximus uses his knowledge and battle experience to his advantage to become a gifted gladiator, eventually finding himself in the heart of Rome at the Coliseum, under the Emperors’ very nose. But will Maximus be able to get his revenge on the man who ordered the death of him and his own family? Or will being a fighter in the ring kill him first? The role of maximums is played by Russell Crowe, and is a very powerful and moving role to watch him in.
One of the good things about Gladiator is that it is not just a typical film with lots of fighting and blood (although there is a fair amount of this, so I would avoid these parts if you don’t like gore) which follows no real kind of story line, but in fact uses the struggles of Maximus to educate us on the topic of slavery in the time of the Roman Empire, and the popular gladiator battles which took place throughout. If you have an interest in this period of history, or just want an uplifting film that is more or less historically accurate then this is the film for you. However I do warn you, you may start beginning to quote the film from time to time, but this is completely normal if you grow to love this film as much as me.