a critiQal film review The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)

Plot: Edmond Dantes (Cavaziel) is unjustly accused of treason. Due to a few corrupt people - Villefort (Frain) and Edmond’s supposed best friend Fernand (Pearce) - Edmond is sent away to be forgotten in a prison on the island of Chateau D’if. There Edmond meets a fellow prisoner, who aides in his escape. Now that Dantes is free, he only has one remaining desire: revenge.

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  • ...despite being an umpteenth remake, this film is still worth watching.

Sure, this novel was required reading in almost any high school. And sure, they did already make a version on film. However, with the trend to remake films these days (Shaft (2000), Red Dragon (2002), etc.) it’s not too much of a surprise that The Count of Monte Cristo also received this treatment.

One surprising difference sets this remake a bit apart from the rest: the main character is not a huge Hollywood star!

The characters all seem to get deep into their roles, all trying to show the entire emotional content in each scene. Guy Pearce, who wasn’t bad in The Time Machine (2002), continues to show promise here.

Jim Caviezel, who I for one haven’t heard much about, shows he can portray realistic characters quite well.

Richard Harris, as usual, comes through magnificently as Dantes’ fellow prisoner and Michael Wincott (of The Crow (1994) fame) continues to play bad guys with great ease.

The plot is an old one, but still interesting. A man is wrongly imprisoned, escapes and plots revenge on those who ruined his life. The interesting part lies in seeing just how the hero will exact revenge. This definitely keeps you interested.

The special effects were mainly the scenery. There is more than one scene of stunning landscapes and majestic architecture. Having the story set amongst such breathtaking settings enhances the mood and feel of the film. The fight scenes looked to be well choreographed as well.

A good plot. Decent acting. Breathtaking scenery. Good action mixed with a dash of humor and a bit of suspense. All of these come together to make this Count worth watching.

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