Christopher Columbus: The Discovery Review

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Italian explorer Christopher Columbus is scoffed at by his contrymen when he reveals his desire to prove that the earth is round by sailing east to reach India. He goes to Spain to seek the cash to achieve his dream he sets off to unintentionally discover America and its strange Red Indian inhabitants.


This would-be big movie about the 1492 dude finds itself in Big Trouble almost from the start because no one can make up their minds just how they should present C.C.

Initially, it seems we are in for a swashbuckling type romp in which George Corraface indulges in swordplay and dallies in a meadow with buxom maid Catherine Zeta Jones. Alas, once he's under sail for the New World - after an hour of screen time - he turns into Captain Bligh. Fast forward another hour and we're looking at Aguirre-like dementia 'neath the palms. And, finally, he is a splendid fellow once more, with no one indiscreet enough to mention he'd got it all wrong, navigationally speaking.

Meanwhile, we've been treated to the unintentionally comic appearance of Tom Selleck in a silly wig as King Ferdinand, teamed with - oh dear - Rachel Ward as a girlish Queen Isabella and a strangely subdued Brando - only here for his legal expenses, presumably - as Torquemada. Meanwhile, an international cast of mutineers bitch their way through pretty sunsets to the rum-advert beach where the friendly natives' number is up as soon as the sailors get the hang of smoking 'erb and contracting syphilis.

As an historical epic or even a gung-ho action romp, this displays little taste or spectacle and feels more interminable than Columbus' original voyage.