Having sneaked of to the island of Elba, Edmund Dantes (James Caviezel) and Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce) meet Napoleon and convince him to let his own physician to treat their ill captain. But in return Napoleon wants Dantes to carry a top secret letter with him to France. When Dantes and Mondego return to France, Mondego turns on his friend out of jealousy because of Dantes love of Mercedes (Dagmara Dominczyk) leading to Dantes being thrown in jail to die for assisting Napoleon. But it is in prison that Dantes meets Faria (Richard Harris) who educates the young man in everything from history to the art of fighting whilst assisting Dantes in tunnelling out. It is Faria who also tells Dantes where a vast treasure can be found which will assist him in gaining revenge against those who betrayed him.
We all change. There was a time when all I cared about when watching a movie was how much bang I got for my buck and cared not for depth or over complex plots or characters but now it is almost the opposite as whilst I still look to be entertained first a movie which fails to provide depth, especially character depth is less enthralling. That brings me to this 2002 version of "The Count of Monte Cristo" a movie which if had been made a decade earlier I would have probably loved but as is found entertaining but lacking.
The big problem for me is the casting as Jim Caviezel simply fails to capture my attention as Edmund Dantes and comes across too weakly, which is partly down to the lack of character depth. But then you have Guy Pearce who almost seems to be camping it up as Fernand Mondego and over acts time and again. In truth if Caviezel and Pearce had switched parts it would probably have made the movie 10 times better but far from perfect.
But there are other problems and unfortunately whilst there are plenty of fight scenes most left me uninspired. Not only did they lack flare but they were so edited and staged that they lacked the flow which makes fight scenes enthralling.
What this all boils down to is that "The Count of Monte Cristo" did little for me and I put it down to age as it has been a while since this sort of movie excited me as that lack of depth makes it feel only half a movie.