Oliver Stone's bloated new epic Alexander is really, really gay. Overt male homoeroticism pervades almost every other scene. There are naked boys wrestling, moments of overzealous petting and even Alexander (Colin Farrell) making out with his confidant Hephaistion (Jared Leto). In fact, there are almost no women in the whole film -- Angelina Jolie's role as Alexander's tempestuous mother Olympias is showy but short, and Alexander's wife Roxane (the breathtaking Rosario Dawson) is hardly a presence in the film's 173-minute running time. The bulk of the movie is comprised of a bunch of white guys talking, hugging and fighting.

Stone has always aimed to push the envelope with his films -- Natural Born Killers and JFK spring to mind -- but Alexander makes little attempt to distinguish itself outside of the aforementioned centrality of homosexuality. Like Troy, the battle scenes are unflinchingly bloody and long. All the awkward overacting and circular dialogue you have come to expect from epic genre movies is in here. Stone has added a few artistic touches (he washes the climactic battle scene in red), but sagas about Ancient Greece are clearly not his strong suit ... Not that there's anything wrong with that.


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