Titus (1999)

TITUS finally opened in Triangle theaters this weekend.  Broadway 
stager Julie Taymor, whose production of "The Lion King" was a 
Tony-winner, writes and directs this visually-vowing adaptation of 
William "Do the Bardman" Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus."  Anthony 
Hopkins plays the title character, a Roman general whose victory a-
gainst the Goths is undermined when the new emperor (Alan Cummings) 
releases the captured queen (Jessica Lange) and then takes her for 
a bride.  Revenge ensues, beginning with the Queen paying back Ti-
tus for killing her first-born son.  Blood flows, limbs are hacked, 
and, during the many dull-but-never-dull moments, select audience 
members may find themselves trying to think of puns on the word 
"stump."  The production design-- a what-the-Hell blend of 400 A.D. 
and 20th Century art, architecture, and armaments-- is absolutely 
amazing.  As is the opening choreography.  The core story is easy-
enough to follow, despite the annoying iambic pentameter.  Of 
course, not *all* of the text translates all that well.  No explan-
ation is offered for the young child who keeps following everyone 
around at the start.  Who's that?  The Queen's pregnancy is over 
before it begins.  Huh?  And, at the end, when the villains mas-
querade as gods to taunt Titus, their actions don't make *nearly* 
enough contemporary sense.  What-ever.  (Rated "R"/162 min.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 2000 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: March 5, 2000

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