Three Mohican warriors protect a British officer's two daughters from
vengeful Huron warriors in the midst of the French and Indian War.
The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Directed by Michael Mann
Written by Michael Mann and Christopher Crowe
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means,
Eric Schweig, Jodhi May, Steven Waddington, Wes Studi,
Remake of 1936's The Last of the Mohicans
Based on the novel by James Fenimore Cooper
Oscar Wins - Best Sound Mixing
Fans of historical dramas are hard-pressed to find films revolving around the French and Indian War. As far as conflicts go, it's often outshined by the American Revolution. That's why history buffs like myself seek out films like The Last of the Mohicans, which is one of the few to show America's first major conflict from the point of view of some of the Native American tribes. Starring Daniel "Movie Gold" Day-Lewis as a white man raised by a Mohican, this film starts off awfully slow but builds to a strong and satisfying climax.
Like most historical dramas, the war is the backdrop for the romance between Nathaniel Poe (Day-Lewis) and British lady Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe). While the two have barely any chemistry and have little reason to be together besides mutual attractiveness, you still feel somewhat invested in their story. The more interesting plotline is the bloody revenge of Huron warrior Magua (Wes Studi), who goes on the warpath against the English after they massacre his people. If this had been the focus for most of the film instead of just the end, the film's snail's pace probably would've been easier to trudge through.
When you consider the unbelievable performances that Daniel Day-Lewis has given in his career, it's hard to define what a bad performance would be to an actor of his caliber. I'll just say this. He's good, but he's not great. I respect everything he went through to prepare for the role, but when you hold Nathaniel Poe up to roles like Bill the Butcher and Abraham Lincoln, it's just not up to snuff. There's a lot to like about The Last of the Mohicans, but it's difficult to get there without falling asleep. Like I said, this film is gold to history buffs but to casual filmgoers, it's a bit of a bore that really only needs to be seen once.