The Last of the Mohicans (USA, 1992)

the-last-of-the-mohicans-posterDirected by: Michael Mann. This is one of those iconic movies that was always around when I was growing up in the ole dusty 90’s, along with Dances With Wolves, these towering, stiff, canonical, landmark films for grown ups that I was never that interested in until years later. Even now, I watch it out of a sense of duty. Someone like me ought to maybe get around to seeing The Last of the Mohicans, right? So then, I saw it. Good for me. What a waste of time. I’m trying to think if this movie is as bad as King Arthur. It’s certainly no better, and in many ways, it’s much less interesting. The characterization just gets rushed through so that nobody—not the titular Mohican (played by Russell fucking Means??? Cool!), not his son, not the lady lead Madeline Stowe, not even the fucking lead character—has a fucking pulse in this movie. The whole plot is just rigid and sluggish and nonsensical in order to accommodate all the Hollywood cliches of the day. Why the fuck did the heroes have to run away from that waterfall? So that the producers could have a torrid, romantic, waterfall-soaked soundbyte for the trailer: “Stay alive no matter what occurs! I will find you!” Barrrrrfffff. Waterfalls of barf. Is this movie just the giant, barfing, flatulating, elephant in the room in terms of Daniel Day-Lewis’ career? The guy is obviously no slump, but in this movie, his performance is fucking embarrassing. Granted, he obviously had very little to work with, but this film does not get a free pass in my books. What the fuck is wrong with everyone? This thing will go down in history as one of the Great American Films. Did we all see the same movie? Probably the best thing about this movie is the combined screentime for Russell Means, Wes Studi and Pete Postelthwaite, who are all fucking awesome in general, and each of their faces already have more character on them than are present in the combined minutes of screentime and lines of dialogue from literally every other person in this film. As a corrective history meant to soothe America’s strained relationship with its Aboriginal population, it’s a pat, condescending, gloss-over with white people in the central roles. DUH. As a thrilling narrative, regardless of history or adaptation or anything else, it’s sluggish, incoherent, jumpy, and amateurish. DUH. And as a vehicle for actors, it’s a dud. FUCKIN DUH. This is, in my refined amateur film critic jargon, what we call a bloated, boring piece of shit. I think this is how people think of The English Patient, which, while understandable, if you actually look closely, you’ll see that The English Patient is actually a pretty good movie (albeit a high-brow arty Oscar bait movie), and this movie is a dry turd on stale toast. If you haven’t seen this, you should skip it and go to Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves instead.


3 responses to “The Last of the Mohicans (USA, 1992)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2013 | Offhand Reviews·

  2. Pingback: Drums Along the Mohawk (USA, 1939) | Offhand Reviews·

  3. Pingback: The Revenant (USA, 2015) | Offhand Reviews·

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