Elizabeth: The Golden Age

My rating: 3 1/2 stars

I thought this was an excellent movie, but it definitely did not live up to the standards of the first. I thought that the costumes, special effects, scenery, and all that jazz were wonderful (which is to be expected from a high budget period), but it lacked the energy and charisma of the first.

As far as character goes, I was far more interested in the plot line between Clive Owen and Abbie Cornish's characters than that of Elizabeth herself. For some reason, it felt like all the strength and power that had been added to her character in the first movie had disappeared, and so the character development was exactly the same as it was in the first movie: she feels insecure and na├»ve (though spirited), and must accomplish a great feat for her country in order to feel like she is making a difference. I mean, sure- that’s a great plotline, but it already happened in the first movie. What also struck me as odd was that after the assassination attempt, there is a scene with Elizabeth crying and broken. There are three assassination attempts in the first movie alone! Why, now, is she so vulnerable and afraid all of a sudden? It didn’t make sense to me, especially because the gun wasn’t even loaded.

Elizabeth was much stronger in the first film,  and that was what moved the plot forward; for every assassination attempt, and for every failure, she still held her own. In this film, it was just endless scenes of showing her vulnerability and weakness. To me, it seemed that it would make more sense to have it the other way around: if she gains her strength and respect in the first film, she has to have it knocked down in some way during the second. Instead, it doesn’t seem like it was ever there to begin with.

I think that the bottom line comes down to this: if Elizabeth: the Golden Age were an entity unto itself, it would be fantastic. As a sequel, however, it doesn’t really live up to the expectations put upon sequels (which happens to most sequels anyway).


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