One of the best epic romantic western war-movies ever made filled with excellent photography. It also has a perfect mix of action, romance and tragedy with a bittersweet ending and a intense climax. Epic music too. Wes Studi's Magua is one of the coldest and most heartless souls that have ever been on film and Madeleine Stowe and Jodhi May are at their most beautiful.
This Mann adaptation works more as period-piece actioneer than a drama or romance, with those elements being quite melodramatic, shallow, and standardized, as well as predictable and thin. But, as a sort of pre-Braveheart in its battle choreography, the rousing action moves like a cannonball, with greatness coming through in the last 40 minutes, when it finally feels in synch to its heart and soul-- a pulp epic.
I give it five stars, not because it is perfect, but because even in the middle of all that fighting, and kicking and slicing and bone-breaking, the camera still captures valuable moments of contemplation. It's very rare for a movie to find that balance between human conflict and the indifferent calmness of the nature in the face of it. And there's the OST, one which defies description.
What makes this movie exceptional? War-history-love-action-drama-all-in-one? Yes; but on top of that it is the character "Magua", the Mohawk. Wes Studi's facial expressions substantially contribute to express Magua's bitter hatred, stubbornness and criminal energy.
director's expanded edition.... Mann's take on the classic James Fenimore Cooper novel was a rousing and romantic epic best remembered now for the stirring soundtrack by Trevor Jones. Performances were solid especially the chemistry between Lewis and Stowe but also the solid work from Means, Studi and Roeves. Spinotti's cinematography sublime. ...'No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you..'
Michael Mann: cinema classico e perfetto. Niente da dire, grandioso dalla colonna sonora alla pura bellezza della fotografia. Come si racconta una storia classica (o forse sarebbe meglio dire: come si rende una storia un classico) senza sbavature, con una messa in scena grandiosa.
Probablemente nos encontremos ante la película más clásica, en términos formales, que haya realizado nunca Michael Mann y el resultado es, a mi juicio, estupendo: una película de aventuras ambientada en un momento importante de la historia americana, llena de romanticismo, violencia y dramatismo. La fotografía es sobrecogedora (impresionante trabajo de Dante Spinotti)