The Count of Monte Cristo

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Inky: ***

Starring Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Richard Harris, Dagmara Dominczyk, Luis Guzman, Albie Woodington, James Frain

PG-13 for: adventure violence/swordplay and some sensuality.

Previews (yours may vary): John Q, The Time Machine, Showtime!, Panic Room, Queen of the Damned

When I first walked into the theater and sat in my usual seat (fifth row, middle), I must admit I did not have high expectations of this movie. First, I knew they had changed the plot. Second, Jim Caviezel wouldn't be my FIRST pick to play the hero (I was thinking around the lines of, say...well, somebody other than Caviezel. Thank God it wasn't Ben Affleck.) Third, Dagmara Dominczyk is relatively new, and I would think they would cast some other woman for that role (this time I have a good one: Heather Graham. She's hot and she can do
period pieces.) However, when the credits started rolling, I realized I had seen a pretty good movie that was worth the 5 bucks I paid.

First of all, the cast hams it up, which is always fun to see. Caviezel proves to be an enigmatic Count, and I must admit I found him quite fun to watch. He's his best when acting out the plans against his enemies, who had him imprisoned on the Chateau D'f for fourteen years. Pearce isn't as great as the wimpy villain (at least, Pearce makes him LOOK wimpy...). He looks like he's tramping around a Suave commercial, his hair is so moussed. Dominczyk is enjoyable as Mercedes, especially at the end. However, Luis Guzman as the Count's "right hand man" was the stand-out. Sure, he has a sort of weird combination of a Brooklyn and English accent, but he adores his sompanion Dantes, and helps work out all the revenge plans with great glee.

The movie is like chocolate - kind of a guilty pleasure, like those of us who love to listen to Britney Spears bubble-gum pop. It has some stupid moments (excuse me, [swipe spoiler]
the 15 year old is NOT Edmond and Mercedes' son! Noooo!), and a couple little glances of Edmond and Mercedes havin' some fun, but most of all is a crowd pleaser. It has everything: dazzling locales, exotic costumes, swordplay, death threats, and people getting impaled. It is not really a family movie, but there is no language (unless you count "Whore" and "bastard" as bad language, which I don't - more like mean-spirited insults) See it-it's not really a memorable movie, but it promises a good evening.

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