View Full Version : Hidalgo (a.k.a. Return of the Viggo)

Mandalorian Candidat
03-04-2004, 09:58 AM
Saw it last night at a Disney screening in SLC. Man those guys are really uptight about security. They had four security people checking for cell phones with metal detectors. With the piracy thing maybe they're justified.

Anyhoo, I'm not sure what to make of the movie. I liked it, thought it was great, but it was kind of schizophrenic. It wasn't just a movie about a race, but it tried to jam all kind of messages in it about 1)trying to find out who you are, 2)being true to yourself, 3)being tolerant of other cultures, religions, etc. and 4)doing your best. It was odd because you could tell the writer was trying to bring up all these different messages, yet they didn't really play them out fully. I'm probably just reading too much into things because you can see it just for what it is and come away having a good time.

The whole premise is that Viggo Mortenson plays a cowboy/pony express rider named Frank Hopkins (I think) who happens to be the best endurance horse racer in the West (or US). He gets invited by a Shiek (Omar Sharif) to race in the Ocean of Fire 3000 mi. race across the Arabian Desert. And so the story goes like that. He's a fish out of water and his horse (Hidalgo) is looked down on because he's a mixed breed (Mustang) and not a purebred (Arabian) like the rest of the racing stallions.

It's not a totally serious movie because the trailer can give you that impression. There's some decent action in a Middle East market place that kind of reminded me of The Mummy and Indiana Jones. There are some damn funny scenes in it too (look out for the goatherder--he has the best lines in the whole flick).

I liked it cause it was pretty interesting and it supposed to be based on a true story so it makes Viggo's character kind of cool. Some stuff seemed to be roll-your-eyes unbelievable, but it still wasn't too bad. Viggo was good enough that, I at least, didn't think it was Aragorn of Arabia. In fact, after the first few minutes you don't really think about him in LotR at all. My big beef, though, is that he is so softspoken in the movie you can't hear half his dialogue. He almost whispers all his lines.

Anyways, I recommend it. It's good like Miracle, yet the story is obscure enough that you're not sure what exactly is going to happen in the end. There's really no profanity, but one dopey line by the Shiek's nephew, and although there's some realistic violence there's nothing gory and no sex, drugs, etc.

Battle Droid
03-04-2004, 10:19 AM
I Really wanna see that. Joe Johnston is a great director, and an underated one.

03-04-2004, 06:49 PM
Supposedly, it's not based on a true story at all, except that Frank Hopkins existed and was a liar. Apparently, Disney even knows about this and still markets it as a "true story". http://www.retrocrush.com/archive2004/hidalgo/index.html

I'm glad the film is entertaining, but Disney really shouldn't claim it's based on any sort of true story unless the film has a scene showing Frank Hopkins telling this story, a la "The Princess Bride".

Mandalorian Candidat
03-04-2004, 07:05 PM
Aww, JT! You just popped my bubble and my perfect little world has come crashing down. I feel like I'm eight again and found out that Santa isn't real (if you are under nine and are reading this, I'm just foolin--Santa's real enough). I thought the plot was too good to be true, but not a total fabrication. Now you're going to tell me LotR is just fiction. :(

03-04-2004, 07:33 PM
Viggo could have used that horse in Texas Chainsaw 3. :D

I've seen the trailer for this movie so many times and I have not felt moved to see it. Maybe I'll rent it when it hits the video stores.

Does Hidalgo win the race or is he made into glue ?

03-04-2004, 09:30 PM
Or both? :D

Sorry ManCan, but the truth shall sink your heart... wait, that's not how that saying goes. ;) Anyway, what I don't get is why Disney felt so compelled to use that "based on a True Story" claim when it sounds like it'd be an entertaining film without it. They don't have to come out and say "Based on the Lies of Frank Hopkins!" (although I kinda like the sound of that :D), but what they're doing is like saying Terry Gilliam's "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" is based on a real story.