I just returned from a special Regal Cinemas screening of Viggo Mortensen’s new movie Hidalgo. I’m going to do my best to keep this report spoiler-free and still give an outline of the film. As “horse movies” go, it is excellent. There were a few minor editing flaws (although I didn’t notice them – but I was with a group of men who well…may not have been watching the HORSE as closely as I was 😉 and were quick to point them out) and the plot is a bit “Disney-ish” in parts, but overall, outstanding job to all 2 and 4-legged actors.
The opening sequence is as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. The film flows quickly, allowing a clear sense of the characters without dwelling too long on any one point. The emotional climax of the film in the middle of the Arabian desert recalls the opening and brings the Frank Hopkins character full circle – although now, with the end of the Ocean of Fire race in sight and still in question, he finally accepts who and what he is. The film wraps on a semi-sad but positive note. All in all, definitely worth seeing, and in answer to some questions, it wasn’t hard to get past “Viggo as Aragorn”. More importantly, his love and respect of horses shines through every interaction with his co-star.