*** Official HIDALGO Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Edwin Pereyra, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Oct 26, 1998
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    Hidalgo: A Review

    The film tells the story of Frank T. Hopkins and his horse who were invited to the Ocean of Fire – a 3,000-mile survival race across the Arabian Desert. Hopkins was a dispatch rider for the US Cavalry and was once billed as the greatest rider the West had ever known.

    I must admit that for a Disney film (actually, Touchstone Pictures to be exact), this is an interesting choice for a film subject. The film is subtitled in some parts. It is directed by Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jumanji, October Sky, Jurassic Park 3).

    Hidalgo will not go down as one of Joe Johnston’s better films. For the most part, the film is dull. The only sign of life and energy is in the final 25 minutes of its nearly 120-minute running time. From the time the Ocean of Fire race starts and leading to its final minutes, there is very little in between that kept my interest. The audience is treated to a sandstorm, a quicksand and a locust attack to wake them up from their deep trance. But all three events last no more than a minute each. If you doze off for a few seconds or go to the bathroom, you might miss it. There is also a scene involving a rescue but that delivery is so unexciting and the results very predictable.

    This is billed as an action-adventure film. There is definitely plenty of adventure but very little action involved. As a lead, Viggo Mortensen just does not have that commanding screen presence. He also mumbles through some of his dialogue. To give its title character some sort of personality, what we get are multiple close up shots of the horse looking back or raising his head with his eyes wide open. Johnston also employs a wide range of composite shots starting off with under lit shots in scenes with American Indians to an overexposed scene towards the end.

    Box office prospects will be limited to the film’s first weekend after which only those who are really compelled to see this story of Frank Hopkins and his horse will want to watch this on the big screen.

    In an exacta, Seabiscuit for the Win and Hidalgo for the Place.

  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator

    Dec 9, 1998
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    Real Name:
    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Hidalgo". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator

    Jun 30, 1999
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    This film wanders from storypoint to storypoint, but does so in such a lackluster way. Sure, the bits with the shots of Hidalgo interjecting his 2 cents were humorous, and many things that Frank Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen) said were spot on, although those bits are few and far between. There was no "juice", no "energy", to this film and the film suffers for it. The film is full of a few peaks and looonnnggg valleys. When the action is present, it very entertaining, and when the action is not, the film gets dull. Unless you are interested somewhat in the story of Frank Hopkins and Hidalgo, I can't recommend it heartily.

    I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.
  4. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

    Dec 13, 1999
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    Wow, only two reviews of this movie and two reviews that say it is mediocre at best.

    I was going to wait to watch this movie until it came to HBO or another channel but the kids have been wanting to watch it so I went ahead and rented it last night. I really wasn't expecting much of this film. I was expecting what the other two reviews gave this film but maybe thats why I enjoyed it so much.
    I was very impressed with this movie. I liked the story line and I was even very tired last night but did not get bored or did not loose interest in the slow parts at all. I don't want to sound corny but I thought it was a very touching and an all around good movie. I would suggest this as a very good family film. My kids enjoyed it as much as I did. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2 OUT OF [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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