Attila Movie Review

It's been rumored in some history books that Attila the Hun died of an exploding blood clot while in the throes of sexual ecstasy -- what a way to go, huh?

Unfortunately, that's a scene you won't find in the USA Network's made-for-television Attila, the latest attempt to cash in on the success of Gladiator. A boy becomes a warrior who becomes a king powerful enough to challenge an empire. Are you not entertained?

This epic mini-series opens with the requisite tragedy that shapes young Attila into a Bad Motherfucker That Will Kneel To No One. Taking its cue from Braveheart, his parents are killed before his very eyes as his village is burned to the ground by roving marauders. Attila grows up to be played by the dashing Gerard Butler (Dracula 2000), rumored to be superb in the London theatre production of Trainspotting. American audiences will have to wait and see if he'll prove to be an actor of any substance, since he's given little to do here other than make great proclamations and survey the fields of battle with a soldier's impassive stoicism.

Our man Attila brings together the separatist Hun tribes to march on Rome, fueled by an obsessive desire to rule the world. The only man who stands in his way -- and seemingly the only intelligent general in the Roman Empire -- is Flavius Aetius (Powers Boothe, who gives a typically strong performance but seems out of place with his cigarette streaked cowboy's voice). When these two titans aren't clashing horns, they're trying to convince each other to join the other side. For all its machismo, Attila is really something of a mismatched love story between tough guys whose parading armies provide an excuse to dance around each other. It must be love. Or something. You decide.

By TV standards, Attila is surprisingly polished with swooping crane shots of horseback riders waving their swords in the air. Take from that whatever homoerotic subtext you will. The filmmakers throw in a token love interest (Baywatch babe Simmone Jade Mackinnon, playing dual roles Vertigo-style) but, c'mon, that isn't fooling anybody! Reg Rogers (I Shot Andy Warhol) is more openly gay and incestuous as the simpering Roman emperor, watched over by a domineering mother (Alice Krige, who I've had a crush on since 1981's Ghost Story through making Borg Queens sexy in Star Trek: First Contact. But enough about me...).

Attila makes for an entertaining soap opera, even if by the very nature of soaps it turns out to be complete and utter crap. But it's larger-than-life crap, and that's gotta count for something!

War, what was it good for?


Comments

Attila Rating

" Grim "

Rating: NR, 2001

Editors Recommendations

President Barack Obama And Wife Michelle Honor Late DJ Frankie Knuckles In Open letter

President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, have paid tribute to the late Chicago DJ...

President Barack Obama And Wife Michelle Honor Late DJ Frankie Knuckles In Open letter

We Still Don't Know When Letterman Is Leaving "Late Show" And Neither Does Stephen Colbert, Apparently

Stephen Colbert will be taking the reigns of the Late Show from David Letterman in 2015...

We Still Don't Know When Letterman Is Leaving

Neil Patrick Harris Rants At Fan During 'Hedwig' Show, But Was In Character The Whole Time

The 40 year-old actor's recent Broadway performance of 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'...

 Neil Patrick Harris Rants At Fan During 'Hedwig' Show, But Was In Character The Whole Time

Moogfest 2014 Gets To The Heart Of Electronic Music With Shows From Kraftwerk And Pet Shop Boys

Moogfest begins in just a few short hours; here's what you have to look forward to.

Moogfest 2014 Gets To The Heart Of Electronic Music With Shows From Kraftwerk And Pet Shop Boys

Snoop Dogg Gives Brian Williams' Rap Of 'Gin And Juice' The Thumbs Up

Don't worry Brian Williams, Snoop Dogg doesn't mind your questionable rendition...

Snoop Dogg Gives Brian Williams' Rap Of 'Gin And Juice' The Thumbs Up

Tori Spelling And Dean McDermott Work Out Their Issues In New Promo For "True Tori"

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott’s marital troubles are no secret, thanks to their reality...

Tori Spelling - Tori Spelling And Dean McDermott Work Out Their Issues In New Promo For

Iggy Azalea: Fans sexually assaulted me at shows

Iggy Azalea was forced to quite crowd surfing after allegedly being sexually assaulted by fans...

Iggy Azalea - Iggy Azalea: Fans sexually assaulted me at shows

From Bruno Mars To Lady Gaga: Ten Celebrities Who Have Changed Their Names

What’s in a name? Well for some celebrities things might have been very different if they...

From Bruno Mars To Lady Gaga: Ten Celebrities Who Have Changed Their Names

Lindsey Vonn And Elin Nordegren Are "Close Friends" In Hatred U-Turn

Lindsey Vonn and Elin Nordegren have finally settled their differences after months...

Lindsey Vonn And Elin Nordegren Are


More recommendations