Taking us through rise and fall of Southern General 'Stonewall' Jackson, an iron-willed Christian military genius in the American Civil War, covering (in almost overkill detail), the events leading up to the battle of Gettysburg.
This TV epic, getting a theatrical outing over here perhaps to tie in with American Independence Day, prequelises the same team's Gettysburg and covers the American Civil War up to the eve of the battle featured in the original movie.
Jeff Daniels returns as Lt. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Robert Duvall is a good Martin Sheen substitute as General Lee, but they are sidelined while the film concentrates on Southern General 'Stonewall' Jackson (Stephen Lang), an iron-willed Christian military genius shown to be kind to small children when not standing fast on the battlefield.
With as many big false beards as there are declamatory character actors or battle re-enacting volunteers to be had, it's on the slow, pompous side with everyone from either army too noble for belief.
The big battles impress, but become somewhat samey. Part Three is threatened.
Reviewed by Kim Newman