Forget Wall Street 2 I Love Stone's Alexander

Forget all the hype about Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and come back in time to Oliver Stone's Alexander where the battles were chaotic and the subject enjoyed a Guinness.
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Forget all the hype about Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and come back in time to Oliver Stone's Alexander where the battles were chaotic and the subject enjoyed a Guinness.

Sometimes it's cool to be in a minority. When everyone got excited about Inception this summer, it was nice to be able to say you'd been a fan of Christopher Nolan's since Following came out in 1998. Likewise, there's a certain cache in recognising the quality of a band long before they get their big break, or in realising an actor's a bit special even if Hollywood seems happy to cast him as eighth banana in dross like Furry Vengeance 2.

But then there are times when there's absolutely no kudos in supporting what some might consider a lost cause. Liking Oliver Stone's Alexander is a case in point. Even people who tolerate my other eccentricities - a love of professional wrestling, a tendency to grow my facial hair to hobbit-esque extremes - can't understand why I love the tale of a stroppy Irish bloke who, when he wasn't sticking it to the world, was sticking it to his best mate.

And how much do I love Alexander? Well enough to own three versions of the film on DVD. Of these, it's the redux edition that's the pick of the bunch. For while others might consider an extra 40 minutes of homoeroticism as appetising as a lead salad, I wish it would go on for a fortnight – the film that is, not the homoeroticism.

"If you liked the original Alexander, you'll love this," says Oliver Stone in the brief introduction to his definitive cut, before adding, "If you hated it, then you'll really hate this." Which is a pretty sound summary, since there's little here to subdue the naysayers. In fact, the most recent version is heavy on all the things people loathed about the original - so that means more of Angelina Jolie sounding like Natasha Fatale from Rocky & Bullwinkle, more of Colin Farrell kissing Jared Leto and more of Val Kilmer dragging his gut about while speaking in the most outlandish Irish accent this side of Marlon Brando in The Missouri Breaks.

And you know what? I love it. Every extra second of it. And you know why? Well, since you asked so nicely, I'll tell you. Because while other epics were embracing tedium (yes, Wolfgang Petersen's Troy, I'm talking about you), Oliver Stone really went for it. And while not everything comes off, the man from 'Nam should be congratulated for creating battles that embrace chaos, for seeing headiness as a virtue, and for suggesting the greatest military leader of them all was really a little Celtic chap who liked nothing more than a flagon of Guinness and a nice cock sandwich. And what's more? It's Stone's Alexander that paved the way for the rampant excess of the massively successful 300.

And so, in a way, I was ahead of the curve again. See, I'm hip without even knowing it. Now has someone left the fridge open, or has it just got cool in here?

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