The story of The Alamo is the stuff of American legend, and the filmmakers behind this new adaptation assume audiences are familiar with the outcome of the historical siege. In the first few minutes of the film, we learn that everyone at The Alamo—nearly 200 men—was killed by the Mexican army, led by the ruthless General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (Emilio Echevarría), "The Napoleon of the West." From there, General Sam Houston (Dennis Quaid) reflects on the events and the tale is told in flashback.

Located at a once major crossroads in San Antonio, Texas, The Alamo was not exactly a structure of significant strategic value. It was originally built as a mission before being converted into a fort, and was conceded back and forth between the Mexicans and Texans before the infamous siege in 1836. Santa Anna's forces were staved for 13 days before slaughtering the brave troops at The Alamo, led by three American legends: Col. William Barrett Travis (Patrick Wilson), James Bowie (Jason Patric), and folk hero/congressman Davy Crockett (Billy Bob Thornton).

The Alamo has been told many times before—most notably the 1960 John Wayne film of the same name and Disney's 1954 classic, Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier—and it's a familiar scenario used in other stories (for example, the Battle of Helm's Deep in The Lord of the Rings). It benefits from historical grounding, though it nonetheless begs the question of why it needs to be told once again. While many hate to admit it, some classic stories are in sore need of a renovation—or at least a fresh coat of paint for a new generation. The real question then is whether or not this particular Alamo is worth remembering.

Dennis Quaid as Gen. Sam Houston

Dennis Quaid as Gen. Sam Houston

Admittedly, my expectations ...

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The Alamo
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for sustained intense battle sequences)
Directed By
John Lee Hancock
Run Time
2 hours 17 minutes
Cast
Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric, Patrick Wilson
Theatre Release
April 09, 2004 by Touchstone Pictures
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