The Count of Monte Cristo


James Caviezel as Edmund Dantes
Guy Pearce as Fernand Mondego
JB Blanc as Luigi Vampa
Henry Cavill as Albert Mondego
Dagmara Dominczyk as Mercedes
James Frain as Villefort
Luis Guzmán
Richard Harris as Faria
Helen McCrory
Michael Wincott as Dorleac
Albie Woodington as Danglars

“The Count of Monte Cristo” is a classic tale of revenge that comes with a bit of action, humor, and romance.

This movie is based on the novel by Alexander Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, and other classics.

Edmund Dantes is a poor but happy sailor. He has a beautiful fiancée and a good friend named Fernand Mondego. Or at least he believes he’s a good friend. Fernand is the son of a wealthy count, yet he is jealous of the poor sailor. When Edmund is promoted to captain, that jealousy overwhelms him. With the help of a corrupt official, Fernand secretly gets Edmund accused of treason and locked away in a prison.

For many years Edmund is locked away and he loses all hope. One day, though, he encounters a fellow prisoner named Faria. Faria is a former soldier and a former priest. Together the prisoners hatch a plan to escape the prison. In the meantime, Faria teaches Edmund how to read, write, and more importantly swordfight.

When Edmund finally does escape, he goes on a quest to exact revenge on those who betrayed him. But will he himself turn into the very thing he despises?

This film is rated PG-13 for adventure violence/swordplay and some sensuality.

What Worked:
I went into this film not knowing what to expect at all. I had never read the book, so I didn’t really know the plot. I was pleasantly surprised. It is your classic tale of revenge. It’s very similar to The Mask of Zorro, The Crow, and other such tales. Good guy is happy, loses everything to the bad guy, then comes back to get revenge and kick butt. It’s a fairly standard formula, but it can work well with the right people involved.

I went into this film thinking Guy Pearce was the good guy. It didn’t take me long to realize I was wrong. He made a perfectly slimy villain and someone easy to boo at. I wasn’t familiar with James Caviezel going into this movie. I didn’t care for him at first. But as the film progressed, I liked him more and more. By the end of the film I was rooting for his character. He’s very much the ‘everyman’ in this role. Richard Harris, despite looking rather old and frail, puts on a convincing show as the Obi-Wan type character who teaches Edmund how to kick butt.

The scenery is beautiful in “The Count of Monte Cristo”. The sword fights are pretty well choreographed and pretty realistic. There’s quite a bit of romance and drama in this film, so there’s something for everyone’s tastes. Overall it was a fun film and well worth checking out.

What Didn’t Work:
This film is around 2 hours long and it does have some slow parts. It is pretty well paced throughout, but when it does slow down for a breather, it really slows down.

Also, most of the rest of the cast is forgettable.