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Movie Review: Mongol

Alternate Title: The Pre-Wrath of Kahn

Story: The name Genghis Kahn sends shivers up the spine of the average Westerner but he is revered as a hero to the Mongolian people. This sweeping, outstanding film is the first of a promised trilogy by director Sergei Bodrov. It was written by Arif Aliyev and Sergei Bodrov. I, for one, can't wait for the next two parts.

The film covers Kahn in his early years as a child to a man, from 1172 to 1206. It is engaging, solid, old style movie making with an emphasis on character development. I actually cared deeply for Kahn and will have to rethink my negative thinking about him. It was not easy being Mongol in those days. There were constant tribal wars, decades old grudges and creature comforts were non-existent.

If you like your epics filled with expansive landscape, bloody battles, a heart breaking love story, betrayals, revenge and good acting this film is for you.

For an exhaustive look at Genghis Kahn check out this wikipedia site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genghis_Khan

View the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28OLBrW6PSM

Acting: Japanese actor, Tadanobu Asano as Temudgin (Khan) is nothing short of fabulous. Chinese actor, Honglei Sun as Jamukha, his blood brother is deliciously wicked. Beautiful Khulan Chuluun as the stoic love, Borte is great. Odnyam Odsuren as Young Temudgin is outstanding as is the rest of the cast of thousands.

Predilection: I like epics.

Critters: Horse, horses and more horses and a wolf, pigeons, geese.

Food: Mystery meat and the abovementioned pigeon, goop and glop.

Sex Spectrum: Lots of pillaging, assumed raping and a grunting sex scene in the shadows behind a curtain.

Soundtrack: Sweeping, soaring and fitting.

Opening Titles: An expansive opening with an introduction to Khan and his harsh environment.

Visual Art: The beauty of the landscape is worth the price of admission. It was filmed in Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

Theater Audience: About 20 other male warriors and this lone female warrior.

Weather: Oh my, the weather is harsh in Mongolia and it turns out the Mongols of the 12th century were deathly afraid of thunder.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 4 - The hand to hand battles are very squirmy. Lots of swords, knives and other pointy objects that go thud, clunk and squish.

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Predictability Level: If you know your history there are few surprises.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: It was nominated for Best Foreign Film last year.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen is a must.

Length: Two hours.

LOBO HOWLS: 8.5