The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Does an epic have to be filmed in multiple locations or is it just the run length of the movie? Or is it a combination of both? I’ll tell you what an epic is, it’s whatever I decide it is (on Bedsit Cinema).
The 90’s was an underrated decade for epics, there are some astounding, dramatic, romantic, shocking and utterly rewatchable films made over those ten years. Legends of the Fall, The Thin Red Line, Rob Roy, Braveheart, Dances with Wolves and of course, Saving Private Ryan would be amongst my favourites. The Last of the Mohicans I had mixed memories of, having enjoyed it, then found it a bit annoying.
The Last of the Mohicans is stacked with stock characters: mainly posh English officer types of varying cowardness, in-juns and damsels in distress. Jared Harris is in it playing one of the wimpy English. I bloody love Jared Harris. There’s loads of other great thesps, thesping it up, but I really can’t be arsed to name them all. Director Michael Mann knows his way around an epic- you could make an argument for 1995’s Heat being a crime epic… Adam checks his rules… Yep, crime epic it is!
Day Lewis plays a half-white man raised by Native Americans of the Mohican tribe, who sets out to rescue said damsels from a viscous rival tribe. All the while facing prejudice from the bastard English. The film is a spectacle in all forms, CGI can never replicate a couple hundred extras ripping into each other, when shot well. There are moments when you want to cheer at the picture. Isn't that good cinema? Provided you aren't cheering the end credits.
There has to be action, love, sacrifice, loss. But also lots of lovely landscapes and no fucking superheroes. The Last of the Mohicans has all of these, and a powerful score.
The Last of the Mohicans improves with viewings, really gets the blood going and has a moving finale which sticks in the memory. I don’t know why I ever doubted it. 10/10