Napoleon Is One Of The Worst History Movies I Have Seen
This review has been a long time coming. I was able to see Napoleon fairly early on in its run, and I have a lot of words to say. Hopefully by the end of this article, what I am trying to convey will be clear. That message is simple: Napoleon is one of the worst historical movies I have ever seen.
First, you might be wondering why I care so much. History matters to me. So much so that I went out and got a Master of Arts in History with an emphasis in world history. I currently work as a history teacher, which along with being a dad of two has really restricted my availability for Vendetta, something I hope can be fixed soon.
It’s important for us to understand history. History as a subject is taught poorly in schools across America. It is taught as a simple “remember this dude who did this thing and died” and that’s really it. History gives us the ability to analyze the past and to understand patterns that we can recognize in the present.
Let The Viewers Eat Cake:
The past matters to a lot of people. History is powerful enough to move nations into action and can be heavily misused. It is because of this whoring of history that we must call out blatant propaganda when we see it. That is what Napoleon feels like at face value to a historian: A piece of British propaganda used to historically assassinate one of the most intriguing figures of the last 200 years. A man born of nothing, yet somehow brought Europe to its knees, and then together to defy him.
Did you know that the entire “Napoleon is short” thing is made up? It was all British propaganda to belittle the self-proclaimed emperor. While the entire short thing is not here in this movie, a whole lot of other propaganda is. Remember how I said Napoleon was one of the most intriguing figures of the past 200 years?
Well, Ridley Scott has widdled him down to an overgrown man-baby cuck who loses his mind at the slightest of inconveniences. Yes, Napoleon’s wife Josephine was promiscuous, but so was Napoleon. If Ridley had actually read a historical book on Napoleon or even watched a 10-minute YouTube video of Napoleon’s life, he would know that.
There Is Nothing We Can Do:
If you’re looking for epic Napoleonic warfare on a major scale, you will be severely disappointed. What you get in the trailers is practically what you get, with a little extra for the Battle of Waterloo. The Egyptian sequence was trash with no real battle and the entire Italian campaign is missing.
The audience is rushed from one scene to another with no real explanation as to how we got here. Historians who’ve studied Napoleon can piece things together as they go, but any casual viewer will be both lost and fed bad history.
It feels like Ridley was trying to tell a Josephine story but never fully committed to doing so. Everything that Napoleon does, from his return from Egypt to after his first exile, is all because of Josephine. None of this could be further from the truth. Napoleon had to abandon Egypt because of supply issues and Josephine died over a year before Waterloo.
I understand some compromises in historical films to make better movies, but you have to earn that. Ridley did not.
I could go on for a long time about my feelings for the Napoleon movie, but I won’t. Maybe I’ll get around to making a video about all the inaccuracies. it would be longer than the film itself. The only hope Ridley Scott’s Napoleon has is the rumored four-hour cut of the film that will hit streaming. I will watch that and give an update on my ranking then. But until then, it sits at around a 5/10 for a regular film, and a 3/10 for a historical film.
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