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             The film Gladiator, by Ridley Scott is a blockbuster hit for more reasons than one. However, many believe that due to clichés and a bad plot that the film should have never made it as far as it did. However, in my opinion, Gladiator was a very successful film that kept me on the edge of my seat.
             In the film Gladiator, Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) who plays the emperor of Rome, is dying on the Germanian frontier of the Empire. Upon his death, he whishes to announce his loyal general, Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) as emperor of Rome, in order to restore Rome to the republic it once was. However, Maximus wants no part of power, and prefers to return to his farm where his wife and son await him. Meanwhile, Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the power-hungry heir to the throne, despises Maximus for winning the affection of his father that he himself never enjoyed. Therefore, Commodus desperately kills his father in secret and claims the throne for himself; while ordering that Maximus and his family in Spain be slain.
             Despite Commodus's evil plot, Maximus escapes from his would-be assassins, and rides to his family's rescue. Too late, he collapses from his exhaustion and his wounds, and is captured by slavers. Maximus is then sold to gladiator-turned-impresario Proximo and forced to fight as a gladiator. However, unaware of Maximus' return, Commodus calls for gladiatorial games to .
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             honor his father's memory. Maximus then returns to Rome as a gladiator with the vile intentions of seeking revenge.
             Aside from Gladiator's successful plot, various other characteristics of the film are just as impressive. For instance, the battle scenes are for the most part terrifically well staged, especially the "re-enactment" of the fall of Carthage. In the fall of Carthage- a group of gladiators on foot, face off against chariot-mounted archers and make it believable that they should win through superior tactics and discipline.

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