Hidalgo (2004) All the horsemanship Viggo Mortensen picked up as Aragorn in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy clearly paid off. Here, he's back in the saddle…
Review

Hidalgo (2004)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Aug 03, 2004; DVD Release Date: Aug 03, 2004; Movie Rated: PG-13; Genre: Drama; With: Viggo Mortensen; Distributor: Touchstone Pictures

All the horsemanship Viggo Mortensen picked up as Aragorn in the ''Lord of the Rings'' trilogy clearly paid off. Here, he's back in the saddle as Frank T. Hopkins, a down-and-out cowboy enticed into entering the ''Ocean of Fire,'' a treacherous 3,000-mile race across the Arabian Desert, by Sheikh Riyadh (played with the usual panache by Sharif) for a $100,000 prize. If only it were that easy. Instead, Hopkins and the equine of the movie's title battle sandstorms, conniving competitors, and even a cheetah before crossing the finish line. Director Joe Johnston doesn't let the CGI effects overwhelm either the action or Mortensen's aw-shucks performance, and no steed has displayed this much star presence since Mr. Ed.

EXTRAS Plenty of horsing around on the ''Sand & Celluloid'' featurette, which includes a how-to on creating edible locusts. But while Viggo's strong and serene disposition may work on the big screen, it renders him apathetic during the interviews.

Originally posted Aug 06, 2004 Published in issue #777 Aug 06, 2004 Order article reprints