Four Feathers

Following at least five earlier films of the titular Victorian novel by A.E.W. Mason, The Four Feathers has the ingredients of a sweeping, old-fashioned epic, including starched-lip British soldiers bonding in richly brocaded English ball scenes and over brutal violence in the Sudan. Directed by Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth), it obsessively explores traditional concepts of honor, bravery and friendship, adding a juicy love triangle for spice. The cast includes attractive young performers such as Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley and Kate Hudson, managing not to embarrass themselves. But, as a result of a perfunctory script, supremely sloppy editing and a lack of overall vision, nothing in the picture seems to hang together. One thing just happens after another, and how we get from there to here seems to be missing. But Aussie heartthrob Ledger, as conflicted hero Harry Feversham, looks very cool and almost Jesus-like in Lawrence of Arabia mode: long hair and beard, dirty face and a turban.

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