MOVIE REVIEW: “The Last of the Mohicans” stars Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood, Lincoln), Madeleine Stowe (Revenge [TV series], We Were Soldiers), Steven Waddington (The Imitation Game, Sleepy Hollow ), Eric Shweig (Blackstone [TV series], The Missing), Russell Means (Pocahontas, Natural Born Killers), Jodhi May (Defiance , Ginger and Rosa), Wes Studi (Avatar, Heat), and Maurice Roeves (Judge Dredd, The Acid House). It is directed by Michael Mann (Collateral, Public Enemies), who also wrote the screenplay with Christopher Crowe (Nightmares, Fear). Taking place during the French and Indian War, three trappers, the last of the dying Indian tribe known as the Mohicans, are thrown into conflict when they help a British soldier and two women escape from an onslaught from another native party. They will have to be cautious and find safety from the danger that is all around them.
Other than “The Crucible,” I haven’t really seen any Daniel Day-Lewis film. For a guy who’s won three Oscars, he hasn’t made many movies; but, what he has made have often been critically acclaimed. I hope to watch more of his works, considering this one as a “first step” along that path (even though I’ve seen something of his before). “The Last of the Mohicans” isn’t as great of a spectacle as one would suspect. It has its flaws and can have distasteful aspects, but overall it was an alright experience nonetheless. The characters were portrayed fairly well and the acting was good for the piece this is. Lewis did a great job, as he would, and the supporting cast had a good appeal to them. However, the best aspect of this release is its cinematography. I love period pieces as well as history, and this one was a treat to watch. There were many terrific shots and angles taken to bring out colonial times, and the costuming was fantastic. If you are into films set in times such as these, this may interest you. Along with this period comes a ton of violence; since it takes place during the French and Indian War, you would expect that. Although I knew there would be battles, I did not predict the amount of brutality that the filmmakers would produce. Tomahawks were shown going into people’s backs, a heart was cut out, and heads were scalped. Many would hate on a feature for this, but I found it to contribute well to the story. If you are going to have a movie about war, make it realistic, especially if you are trying to send a message. I found the fight scenes to be awesome, even though they were incredibly chaotic. Where things take a turn, however, are in the story. With a combining of both romance and drama from a book that was published during the romanticism time, this film focuses more on blurring the lines of their genre rather than their characters. I understood where this plot was coming from. Colonists get locked into a conflict they didn’t want to be a part of and must survive. The main character must protect a woman he just met and things unravel in an action-packed way. Although I stated that the acting was good for the characters, the figures themselves were not fleshed out enough to my liking. The movie’s objective seems to be a displaying of the events of the French and Indian War, but whenever it wants us to feel for its characters it is difficult to, and I believe that this is due to the rushing of romance and the short runtime. This film lasts almost two hours, but it feels like it could run for an hour longer in order to develop its characters better. In this small window the writers have placed themselves in, they try to cram romance into the plot just so it could give the ladies something to enjoy as well as fall in line with the book in some way. I couldn’t get the relationships in this film, primarily because they weren’t built up enough. The main characters bonded over one chat at night while two side characters just looked at each other the right way; that was it. There wasn’t as much weight as I want in these scenes, causing its flow to falter when running against the action and historical aspects. I will say that I was entertained, though. The dialogue was written fairly well, and there were some cool moments scattered across the release. I just wish that they fleshed out the characters more so we could get a better feel of the romance instead of it just being nailed up randomly. Overall, this was a fairly entertaining watch with some solid performances, but the story’s issues held it back from being anything epic. FINAL SCORE: 79%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer:
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