The toga party’s still not over: Oliver Stone takes a three-and-a-half-hour crack at his Colin Farrell epic in Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut (Unrated, 214 mins., 2004).
First there was the 175-minute theatrical version that included a Stone commentary plus assorted extras. This was followed by a ”newly inspired, faster-paced, more action-packed” 167-minute Director’s Cut that uninspiringly gelded Alexander’s bisexuality.
Stone calls his latest reimagining a ”breakthrough,” unencumbered by studio interference or censorship. That meant reshuffling the time-hopping narrative, amping up the gore in already-terrific battle scenes, and fleshing out the homoeroticism. Alexander’s Persian eunuch lover Bagoas (Francisco Bosch) now does more than put out a candle in a bedroom scene with Farrell’s butt-naked warrior. On the downside, the star’s blaring blond hairdo remains distractingly unfortunate. (Couldn’t they tone it down with CGI?) But Angelina Jolie’s campy mama, fortune-teller accent and all, is oddly right. Without her, what do you have? Lots of guys gabbing, hugging, and fighting.
While still more Cecil B. DeMille cheesy than David Lean classy, this extras-free — dare I say richer — Final Cut is the one to watch.