Blood vs. Will
Review by Ross Anthony

Hidalgo The picture is set in the late 1800's and Hidalgo is the name of Frank Hopkins' mustang horse. Frank's a half-breed long distance horse racer who witnesses the atrocities at Wounded Knee, then becomes a drunk in a Wild West show. A far-out challenge from a far out land, gives Frank the chance to win a big purse as well as some self-respect. The race is in Arabia. Thankfully, action sets up the story, not exposition, but still, this is a lot of story to lay down in the first 5 to 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the peripheral characters play somewhat cartoony. Fortunately, most of that changes once Frank and horse board the boat overseas. There the tale takes on a bit of a serious tone with better actors, more relaxed directing.

Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn in "Lord of the Rings") plays Hopkins with subtle splendor. He portrays the strong silent cowboy who says a lot with his eyes, the hang of his shoulder, and brief colloquialisms. His understated acting plays nice contrast to the obvious dialogue of others in the picture. Louise Lombard is also very good as the rich British horse owner.

Still, even with the cartoony first act, even though the story missed some opportunities for stronger drama, I liked this picture and would have graded it an A-. But, there's a terribly hokie painted-horse scene in there that diluted some well-earned momentum and mars the believability factor. I would have also liked a strong Indian drumming backbeat to the score.

  • Hidalgo. Copyright © 2004. Rated PG13. 141 minutes.
  • Starring Viggo Mortensen, Zuleikha Robinson, Omar Sharif, Louise Lombard, Adam Alexi-Malle, Said Taghmaoui, Silas Carson.
  • Directed by Joe Johnston.
  • Screenplay by John Fusco.
  • Produced by Casey Silver at 20th BuenaVista/Touchstone.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:08:52 PDT