Director: Joe Johnston

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Odd that the film Hidalgo presents itself as based on fact; it's no more a true story than Munchaussen's whoppers, & alleging factuality drags it down.

As an utter work of fiction in its own right, it is mildly entertaining, Viggo Mortensen as Frank T. Hopkins is convincing as a world-adventuring cowby & I'd love to see him in a better western than this. The titular character is the horse named Hidalgo who is a neat looking horse with personality in his gaze (but not well utilized in film). It's all well photographed for wide screen.

Yet for all it seems to have going for it, the suspense is completely unconvincing because the happy ending is too obvioius throughout. American cowboy goes to Arabia & pits an Indian patined pony against Arabian steeds in a 3000-mile desert race. Is there even a slight question who is gonna win? So suspense has to be built around something more than that which is never in doubt.

Every plot turn is obvious & cliche, the dialog ridiculous, & it manages to make big events seem trivial. It dilineates character so poorly that the brigand villain & the crabby Prince can scarsely be told apart.

Perhaps it'd be more effective for kids aged 8 to 12, though even the kiddies will likely lament that Hidalgo isn't center-stage enough.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

[ Film Home ] - [ Film Reviews Index ]
[ Where to Send DVDs for Review ] - [ Paghat's Giftshop ]