Gladiator Movie Review

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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GLADIATOR Directed by Ridley Scott The film Gladiator takes place historically in the times of ancient Rome. The year is 180 AD, and Rome is at war with the Germanic tribes. The Caesar Marcus Aurelius has ruled for years as a militarily emperor and wants to return Rome to a republic and re-empower the senate. Caesar Marcus Aurelius's son Commodus hopes he will succeed his fathers throne and rule as an emperor and eliminate the senate. Caesar Marcus Aurelius instead plans on empowering General Maximus, a distinguished military leader who battled victoriously against the Germanic tribes, as the protector of Rome in hopes that he will help re-build Rome as a republic and ensure the power of the Senate. Rather than help Rome become stable among the Senate, Maximus would rather go home to his family and tend to his crops. When Commodus is informed that he will not succeed his fathers throne he ends up murdering his already dying father and un-lawfully assumes the throne.

Remaining loyal to Marcus and unwilling to pledge his allegiance to his heir, Maximus is sentenced to death by Commodus. However, Maximus is able to escape his executioners, and hurries home only to find that his family has been butchered and his farm burnt to the ground. Mentally anguished by what has happened and exhausted from the rush home Maximus is captured by slave-traders and befriended by fellow prisoner Juba. The two men, now slaves, are then sold to Proximo who manages and trains gladiators. The film then bounces back to Rome, where the new Caesar Commodus is gradually gaining power, which includes dissolving the Senate and killing his political rivals. However, a few people who hold some sort of political power are able to undermine Commodus' dictatorship, including Senator Gracchus and Commodus'...