They don’t make ‘em like this any more, and more’s the pity. Based on Alexandre Dumas’s classic novel, this is perhaps the greatest tale of betrayal and revenge in the English language, and the movie holds true to this dark spirit, if not every exact detail of the novel.
Set in 19th Century France, Jim Caviezel stars as Edmond Dantes, betrayed by his friend Count Mondego (Guy Pierce) over his fiancé Mercedès (Dagmara Dominczyk). Dantes is sent to the Chateau Dief (an island fortress prison) without trial, due to his being used as a patsy in a planned Napoleonic uprising. There, after four years, he meets the Priest (Richard Harris), who has spent 6 years tunnelling an escape tunnel in the wrong direction. Together, they spend 7 years digging an escape tunnel, while the Priest teaches Dantes everything he knows – science, economics, mathematics, swordsmanship, and the location of an almost limitless treasure. Armed with the tools he needs, Dantes makes his escape and carefully plots his revenge, planning to “have their world ripped from them as mine was ripped from me”.
A wonderfully intricate plot follows, as Dantes wreaks his revenge on those who destroyed his life.
It is difficult to praise this movie enough – it has enough plot to spread across four or five typical Hollywood movies, a tremendous cast, incredible sets and great direction. What more could you possibly ask for?
With a thoroughly-deserved A+, this one is a must see.