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'Hidalgo' is as cool as 'Raiders'

Teen Movie Review By Charly Shelton

I never thought there would be an action/adventure movie as great as “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

“Hidalgo” is the first movie that matches Raiders’ incredible coolness.

Based on the true life story of Frank Hopkins, this movie is about a spiritually lost man and his mustang. Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen) and his horse, Hidalgo, are invited to enter a 3,000-mile race against Arabia’s finest riders and horses after Wild Bill Hickock claims that Hidalgo and Hopkins are the greatest horse and rider team in the world.


Aziz, the winner of the great desert race, takes offense at this claim and challenges the American pair. Before Hidalgo, all horses in the race had been purebred Arabian horses. Hopkins is out to prove that not only is he the better man, but his mustang is the better horse. The race is called “The Ocean of Fire,” and through it, Hopkins and Hidalgo must battle the elements as well as other riders.

This movie has everything anyone would want: Arabian rooftop shootouts, epic sword battles, plagues and touching moments. Frank Hopkins is Indiana Jones for today’s generation. Wonderfully portrayed by Viggo Mortensen (who played Aragorn in the “Lord of the Rings” movies) Hopkins can fight all these battles and make them look great. The bond between the man and his horse is one of the other things that makes this movie great. It brings back the feel of old Westerns in which all the cowboy had to depend on was his horse.

Despite a not-so-great soundtrack, this is a great movie that I am looking forward to seeing again. Directed by Joe Johnston, written by John Fusco, this movie is rated PG-13 for adventure, violence and some mild innuendo. This movie is good for anyone 13 and up. I give it five out of five sandstorms.

Charly Shelton is a freshman at Crescenta Valley High School.