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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 24.53%
Average: 27.36%
Pretty Bad: 8.49%
Total Crap: 6.6%

5 reviews, 76 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"A story about a horse and the man who loved him."
4 stars

There was, apparently, a time in history when people would get really snobby if they found out your horse didn't have a pristine lineage. I guess in a horse-based society, it was easy to tell what kinds of horses worked best and which ones were superior to others, the same as it's easy to tell nowadays that a Toyota is going to run a lot better than a Kia, for example (and I say that as a Kia owner).

But I still don't quite get it, and while the idea of a cowboy having a horse for a best friend is quaint and all, it's hard for a fully modernized guy like me to really buy into it, and maybe that's why "Hidalgo" feels a little silly to me.

Viggo Mortensen, in his first non-Aragorn role in four years, plays cowboy and former soldier Frank Hopkins, who is, circa 1890, a drunken performer in Buffalo Bill's traveling Wild West show. (The resemblances to the first act of "The Last Samurai" are startling and, I venture to guess, coincidental.)

His best pal is his horse, the titular Hidalgo, a once-wild mustang who gets no respect from the thoroughbred crowd because of his mixed ancestry and untamed roots. But he can run fast, and he's helped Frank win many a race.

Frank and Hidalgo are challenged to the Grand Prix of horse racing, a grueling 3,000-mile trek across Arabia, with a $100,000 purse going to the winner. Many die each year during this trek, burned up by the blistering sun, lost in sandstorms, or swallowed by quicksand. Naturally, Frank and Hidalgo accept the challenge and the race is on!

First, though, Frank develops a crush on the daughter of a sheik (Omar Sharif), which the anti-Caucasian sheik will have none of. After a bit of a tangent where Frank rescues the daughter (Zuleikha Robinson) from marauders, THEN the race is on!

There's some fine adventure throughout the film, directed by adventure veteran Joe Johnston ("Jumanji," "Jurassic Park III," "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids") and written by horse veteran John Fusco ("Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron," "Young Guns," "Young Guns II"). Frank's encounters with bandits, leopards and a plague of locusts are all excitingly staged and provide a good bit of fun, and Mortensen is gently charismatic as always. Oh, and Hidalgo is beautiful, as horses go.

But it's all so ... typical. You know exactly where the story's going, and you know exactly what Frank's going to do in any given situation, though I admit he generally does it with panache. It is a good film, if not a great one.

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originally posted: 03/06/04 17:46:39
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User Comments

12/08/14 zenny Lord of the Nieghs 4 stars
1/17/09 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 5 stars
1/10/09 Anonymous. fun :] i love horse movies. 4 stars
7/13/06 R.W.Welch Okay adventure yarn tho Mortenson plays it a little too slack. 3 stars
6/22/06 Mary Rutland Glorious fun. 5 stars
9/15/05 Tom Burns A very enjoyable movie. 5 stars
8/30/05 ES American in the mid-east survives better in the desert than the natives of the land= crap 1 stars
7/03/05 Charlie Nothing special 3 stars
4/29/05 Quigley a very good film with good acting and even greater action, all on top of a good story 5 stars
4/16/05 Carol Conway Way too long 3 stars
3/31/05 hannaho Another example of Hollywood's view of history. 3 stars
3/26/05 Denise good and fun 4 stars
3/21/05 reptilesni An exotic and really well told story. 5 stars
3/18/05 B. D. Cole I fell asleep 3 nights in a row trying to watch the end of this ... dreadfull 1 stars
3/12/05 Bruce McLean unbeliveable 1 stars
3/09/05 Carolyn Rathburn Love every minute of it, they don't make enough movies like this. 5 stars
3/05/05 Gloria Anderson love this movie 5 stars
3/02/05 Maggie Dressler exciting andwonderful 5 stars
3/01/05 CanDance Walker I loved this movie! 5 stars
3/01/05 Jeanette T. all the movie lacked was a cartoon & a newsreel -- old fashioned fun! 4 stars
2/25/05 L.G. Enjoyed it; great wholesome film 4 stars
2/24/05 axe at turns eye-rolling and eye-popping 3 stars
11/27/04 HL Nice story..good action..keeps moving..... 4 stars
11/18/04 Jessie it was very exciting and moving! 2 thumbs up. 5 stars
10/15/04 Don Eckert Great action but didn't care about the character and subplots stupid. 3 stars
10/15/04 Emma Facinating entraping movie based on a true story 5 stars
8/24/04 ownerofdajoint good advenure flick;a little long...definitely worth seeing..great scenery.. 4 stars
8/16/04 elizaveta Viggo is the only saving grace - without his deep performance, it would be crap! 4 stars
8/16/04 Dan Booooring 1 stars
8/14/04 Li Uneven - but Omar shines as shiek 3 stars
8/11/04 Sharon very entertaining movie! 4 stars
7/25/04 Diane Hildalgo was a fun movie. I liked it. 4 stars
7/10/04 Confessions Of A Teenage Trauma Queen How in the blazes do they move those luxurious tent dwellings as fast as the horse race??? 3 stars
7/08/04 jasmine it is so good!!!love it!!! 5 stars
5/27/04 lucas isleno 3 stars
5/10/04 John fun concept, a few good moments but just a terrible script 2 stars
5/06/04 Mark Fulwiler Good fun! 4 stars
4/10/04 Spaz Viggo is amazing 5 stars
4/08/04 Bob Hidalgo, was a completely shitty movie. What was up with those ultra stereotypical Arabs? 1 stars
4/07/04 Austin Beggs It was great! I love the movie! 5 stars
3/25/04 Michelle Redel Viggo is captivating and I love the horses too! I would love to ride that cowboy yahooo 5 stars
3/23/04 Emily It's Great! Viggo did a wonderful job! Some of the editing was a little off, but that's ok! 5 stars
3/22/04 Jason Mundstuk Parodic plot, unbelievable twists, redeemed somewhat by last 15 minutes of self-realization 2 stars
3/21/04 chris i could tell you the ending before the movie started 3 stars
3/20/04 Brian A rip snortin adventure. I enjoyed it 4 stars
3/19/04 Alex Galli This is a fun and exciting movie with awesome action sequences. 4 stars
3/19/04 Pinto Mustang If you love horses and old-fashioned movies without pretention 5 stars
3/19/04 Suzy Boyle It was a pretty cool movie 5 stars
3/18/04 Wolf Slightly disappointing (CGI leopards SUCKED) but worth matinee. 3 stars
3/18/04 mystic Would go see it again just to see viggo!!!! 4 stars
3/18/04 Bobbi Jo Perez This movie was 1 of a kind. it was just awesome viggo was so good in this movie and really. 5 stars
3/17/04 sam really good 3 stars
3/16/04 alex reminded me of The Last Samurai. Damn similar beginning 3 stars
3/16/04 HorrorScribbler Okay ... unnecessary subplots, pretty horses. I understand real Hopkins a noted liar. 3 stars
3/16/04 A.S. brilliant,those who hate it,obsiously have not enough intelligence to know what is art!! 5 stars
3/15/04 sjrrsjyjsyrj booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
3/14/04 Marvin Excellent entertainment 4 stars
3/13/04 Jessica It was awesome 5 stars
3/11/04 Druce While not a blockbuster, definitely worth a viewing 4 stars
3/10/04 Richard Morgan Very entertaining. Finally a good movie for the whole family. 5 stars
3/10/04 misslooty Who was the editor for this film?but great cinematography 3 stars
3/09/04 BuBBa At first the movie was really fun but then it trailed off into a unneeded su plot of shieks 3 stars
3/09/04 Wendranh One of the few movies I want to see again! The horse is a better leading "man" than most w 5 stars
3/08/04 jcjs wonderful, adventurous, lovely, romance, horse and man 5 stars
3/08/04 Merry Writer 4 stars
3/07/04 Nancy O Really enjoyed it. Scenery great, Horses magnificent. Great leading men to watch. 4 stars
3/07/04 Kate Great! 5 stars
3/07/04 Amira Zahra AWFUL, Full of incorrect and negative stereotypes 1 stars
3/06/04 Jayman a throw back horse epic with a soul 5 stars
3/06/04 john awsome, lovely, graveful, delightfully surprised, simplicity, dance, beauty, grace, focus.. 5 stars
3/06/04 Lord Chu Great stuff, simple but charming. 5 stars
3/06/04 Ren This is an awesome movie!! 5 stars
3/06/04 Carver S. uuuhhhh....Viggo..on a horse....AGAIN.... 3 stars
3/06/04 paganchyk Uneven, but the good parts are really good 4 stars
3/05/04 Ray This is really good!!! 4 stars
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  05-Mar-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 03-Aug-2004



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