Hot Movie Takes: Spartacus

This post may container spoilers for the movie. It’s my hot take while watching or directly after watching the movie. Don’t expect too much from this post.

Spartacus is the story of the legend of a slave called Spartacus. The movie starts at quarry where we watch slaves mining away at rocks. One of them, Spartacus, has been causing trouble and becoming more and more rebellious. His captures are on the verge of killing him when a man who runs a gladiator training camp, Lentulus Batiatus, comes along and purchases him. Spartacus is taken away to this camp where he is trained to become a gladiator. While here, Spartacus meets his future wife and fellow slave, Varinia. One day, four people from Rome stop by, one being a Roman senator named Marcus Crassus. As a present, one of the people in the group demands two of the slaves fight to the death in a duel, something Batiatus has forbidden up to this point. Spartacus and another gladiator fight and while Spartacus loses his opponent refuses to kills him and instead gets killed by the guards. On Crassus’s way out, he buys Varinia from Batiatus. Once Spartacus learns what has happened, he causes a prison break and all of the gladiators escape. They band together and start going around freeing all of the slaves that they can. Spartacus eventually comes across Varinia and they are reunited. Now free and amassing an army, they make a plan to escape Italy and go back to their home land.

They decide to travel south to the bottom of Italy and hitch a ride with the pirates of Cilicia. Once they get there, they realize they are being surrounded by Roman armies. So they decide to flee back north and try to invade Rome. Crassus takes command of the armies of Rome and slaughters the majority of the uprising. Spartacus and Varinia survive but are both taken captive. Crassus sends Varinia back to his house and crucifies the rest of the slaves, including Spartacus. Batiatus kidnaps Varinia and on their way out, Varinia and their baby get one last moment with Spartacus as he is dying on the cross.

This was a real beast of a movie to watch. I think one of the biggest things I noted was that the movie is very ‘epic’. The sets are all well done, there are tons and tons of background and extras in this movie, and you really feel the scale of the movie. The first hour was a little rough but slowly got more interesting as we got to really know Spartacus and the other characters and their motivations. The second hour is very slow. It’s mostly a bunch of dudes walking through a bunch of hills. The last hour though was very exciting. We got to see a lot of payoff and there is a huge battle between the Roman armies and Spartacus’s army. I also thought the movie ended well. Overall, I thought the movie was good but I think it does somewhat show its age. If it was 1960 and this movie had just came out, I think my rating would be closer to an 8 but in the end, my final rating is 6.99 gladiators out of 10.



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