Crap. Nothing about this movie works. The story, the casting, the not-believable-at-all aging make-up. Seriously, the make-up is awful, especially on Armie Hammer. Probably should have cast older actors who can play young... DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover? That doesn't even work on paper.
Make another western, Clint. Please. These biopics aren't your strong suit.
I approached this one with a grain of salt, considering its yet another sword and sandal flick shot on green screen. But I like Tarsem's work so it was a very small grain. Unlike Tarrantino, who references other movies, Tarsem almost always references paintings or sculptures, stuff you would see in a museum not a theater. It makes his work visually stunning, but he's never quite been able to pull off telling an emotionally engaging story. In this one, he almost succeeds. Mickey Rourke is that oh-so-stereotypical kind of villain who shows his villainy by killing his minions when they disappoint him. It makes for great scenes of villainy, but c'mon...if you really operated like that, you'd soon run out of minions. Still, his gravelly voice and imposing frame are perfect. Henry Cavill surprised too.
When he was giving his rousing speech, I wanted to start banging my sword on my shield too.
I came into this one with high hopes, which were all in pieces by the end. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton as brothers, Nick Nolte as their dad, MMA, family conflict. Promising right? But no. It follows the formula, deviating only slightly in some respects, and then completely devolves into an implausible mess. I don't mean to spoil anything, as these things are kind of made clear in the trailer, but in the last match, it's not only revealed that Tom Hardy's character is AWOL from the military (and will be conveniently allowed to finish the fight before his arrest) but they're brothers! And they're going to fight each other!
Could have been much better, and should have been. Bastards.