The Last of the Mohicans (1992) – 4/5

Decent film that takes about half its running time to get going but ends up being pretty dang entertaining and surprisingly emotional once it does so. But man is that first hour a bit of a chore to get through. Not that it’s awful by any means, it’s just complicated and full of confusing historical exposition that is hard to make sense of, which, as a result, creates characters that are distant and hard to connect with, at first at least.

It’s not until the second half when the movie turns into a **SPOILERS** chase film **END SPOILERS** that things finally start coming together. Motivations are clarified and things finally start making sense, both from a character perspective and a historical one. Hurray! And you finally start to feel for these characters, especially when a few of them **SPOILERS** die, often horribly. **END SPOILERS** And, though the movie is violent, I don’t understand why it was given an R-rating. It’s not that gory, nothing you haven’t seen in a PG-13 film before, and there’s not that much other “offensive” content in it, so what gives?

Anyway, the movie looks cheap at times, but has some pretty great battle scenes that looked expensive and were probably quite difficult to shoot.  The acting is okay, nothing special, though Daniel Day-Lewis looks remarkably like Tom Cruise here at times for some reason. The plot of the film also reminded me a bit of Avatar, actually, going so far as to include a scene of a few characters referring to the carcass of a deer they just killed as their “brother” and thanking it for having died so they may have something to eat. Odd. Must be a Native American thing.

And why they needed to make the protagonist of this film a white guy who grew up among and considers himself to be an Indian is beyond me. Demographic purposes, I guess, but it sticks out like a sore thumb. He even ends up falling in love with the white daughter of a big army guy after one of the quickest, least effective courting scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie. Truly a page taken from cliché war epics 101.

Overall, yeah, the movie gets better as it goes along, and becomes easier to follow, and entertaining and emotional. It just takes a while to get there. It’s okay, ultimately. Not the greatest I’ve ever seen, but certainly not the worst. The soundtrack, though, is where the movie truly shines. Give it a listen if you haven’t; it’s a masterpiece.

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