Count of Monte Cristo, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: +1

Alexandre Dumas classic tale of betrayal and revenge returns to the big screen in this most recent adaptation about the hapless hero, Edmund Dantes (Jim Caviezel), who seems to have everything going for him, a recent promotion and the love of Mercedes (Dagmara Dominczyk). But betrayed by his envious friend Fernand (Guy Pearce), Edmund finds himself arrested for treason due to a stop on the island of Elba and contact with the exiled Napolean. And because of a magistrates political ambitions, Edmund is sent to disappear forever on the island prison of Chateau dIf. The Abb Faria (Richard Harris), an imprisoned priest, befriends Edmund and spends their years together educating him in languages, math, science and swordsmanship. When an accident fatally injures the priest, he gives Edmund a map to fabulous wealth hidden on the island of Monte Cristo. After thirteen years, the priests death also gives Edmund a way to escape, find the treasure and exact revenge on those who robbed him of his life, his family and his love. Transformed into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo, Edmund discovers Mercedes married to Fernand, but is his plan for vengeance strong than his lovc? Crowds will enjoy this mix of adventure, love and poetic retribution.

Virtually free of coarse language, the film maintains the major elements and themes of Dumas' story. An interesting twist focuses on Edmund's rejection of God after his imprisonment, but later references show his return to belief. Although the story seems to focus on revenge, the priest tells Edmund that vengeance belongs to God and a sentence carved into Edmund's cell states that God will give justice. Edmund shows mercy to a man in a knife fight and, in doing so, earns a faithful servant and friend. Fernand is often shown drinking and references made to his later adulteries but neither is condoned. Silhouettes of nude swimmers and a beach scene imply sex between Mercedes and Edmund, although nothing graphic is shown. However, a later reference to a son indicates the results of the evening. A suicide attempt shows a man with a gun in his mouth, but no bullet is in the pistol. A few sword stabbings are unnecessarily graphic and some sexual references are slightly crude, but teens and older can enjoy this adventurous tale.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Touchstone (Disney) - Buena Vista Pictures, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Twice Mild 1, moderate 1

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Once Exclamatory (for G sake)

Violence: Several times Moderate and severe (shootings, hits, kicks, sword slashes, man knocked into water, sword fights, sword thrust through body, whippings, rock falls on man, man drowned, knife fight, hanging man rescued, gun in mouth suicide attempt no bullet, blood on wound)

Sex: Implied few times (unmarried couple under blanket on beach, adulterous couple in bed)

Nudity: Near nudity Few times (silhouette of nude swimmers, low cut dresses emphasize cleavage)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (man asks woman to make love, reference to adulteries, teen lured by womans kiss)

Drugs: Few times alcohol/wine drinking, drunken behavior

Other: Theme of poetic revenge, betrayal and false imprisonment, rat caught and roasted by prisoners, God spoken of reverently references to being everywhere, man loses then regains belief in God, quote vengeance belongs to God, man sees God gave him justice, man maintains faithful servanthood, woman never loses love

Running Time: 130 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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