Well, I guess if you are interested in the Gladiator Slot, you must have seen, or be intending to see the blockbuster movie of the same name (not necessarily I suppose). (Australian players- please visit our Gladiator Pokies page for Aussie offers).
Gladiator (2000) is a Roman epic inspired by the likes of Sparticus, and directed by Ridley Scott, starring angry man Russell Crowe, as well asJoaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Jacobi, John Shrapnel and Richard Harris.
Crowe plays the Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius, (he's the goodie) who is betrayed by the Emperor's power hungry son (he's the baddie). Commodus kills his father, a long time friend of Maximus Bicepsalot and takes power.
Maximus' fortune turns with events and so begins a fresh chapter of his life as a Roman slave, but he then powers his way up the Gladiatorial ranks to eventually give Commodus his comeuppance and avenge the murder of his wife and child and the Emperor.
Released in the US in May, 2000, Gladiator was smash hit. The movie was up for many awards and won 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture. Rumours abound of a prequel and sequel, but as of yet- no work on the film has begun.
The Plot- The Quickie Version
For all you Internet and iPad freaks who have no time to sit through the film, here's the short version.
It's AD 180, and General Maximus Bruce Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe) leads the Romans to victory against a bunch of hairy beer swillers from oop north. The Emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) is a bit poorly (he has a son, Commodus). But he grants the temporary reins of power to Maximus which Commodus is none too happy about.
Commodus knocks his old man off then schemes to bump off Maximus' Old Lady and his son. Maximus escapes custody but arrives home too late to save his family. He buries them and then becomes a slave.
A guy called Proximo (Oliver Reed), who likes a vat of wine or two (no great demands made on his acting ability for this one for Old Ollie Boy), buys him and puts him into service as a Gladiator. He becomes mates with Juba (Djimon Hounsou), and Hagen (Ralf Möeller).
Maximum is pretty good at fighting. Through a series of choppings, stabbings and slicings, not to mention a few punchings and armpit ticklings, he makes it all the way to the Roman "Wemberley" : the Colosseum, where he slugs it out in a contest mimicking the Battle of Carthage.
Hiding his identity with a helmet, he leads a band of gladiators to victory and the crowd insist on his release. Commodus has to release him, and later he defeats the no 1 Super Heavyweight and undefeated champion of the Roman World Tigris, as well as as a bunch of big pussies released into the arena, yet refuses to obey Commodus when he orders him to kill Tigris.
As a result, he is thereafter known as "Maximus the Merciful" or "Meridus The Mincer" by the crowd (depending on their point of view). His popularity by tele-vote soars across the major word of mouth channels and Commodus finds himself in a bit of a pickle. He can't kill him off without making him a martyr, so he needs to come up with a dastardly plan, and to make sure he gets away with it, he'll need to keep them meddling kids at arm's length.
Maximus learns that his army is still loyal to him, so he plots with Commodus' sister Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and the senator Gracchus (Derek Jacobi) to fire up the troops and to deliver a coup d'etat against that nasty Commodus.
Commodus is no slouch in the politcal intrigue and plotting stakes, however, and figures that his sister is about to betray him and coerces her into revealing the plan by threatening the life of her young son Lucius and to take away Gladiator priveleges. So the plot goes belly up basically, it hits a dead end and Commodus lives to fight another day.
In order to win over the proles who worship Maximus Pecsamuch, Commodus organises a duel with Maximus in the Colliseum buy sneakliy stabs Maximus before they enter the arena. His dastardly plan is to whup his ass in the ring while Maximus Buttockus is wounded. But his plan backfires- he forgot that he was in the movies and a mere flesh wound was not going to stop The Gladiator from taking the win.
Maximus defeats the Emperor despite the wound, but then croaks it as well, but not before he has got Gracchus back on the throne, the slaves freed, the power restored to the Senate and the washing up done.
As he kicks the bucket, Maximus meets his family in the afterlife while skipping about in the long grass with the sun setting.
T H E E N D
Not as short a summary as we'd originally hoped, but it should give you an idea without sitting through the film. Not that we'd advise against it- I've seen better films, but it's not a bad way of whiling away a lazy Sunday afternoon. We've seen worse.
The film draws heavily on 2 epics from the sixties: The Fall of the Roman Empire and Spartacus.
It doesn't quite reach the heights of Sparticus in my opinion. Kirk Douglas versus Russel Crowe? Kirky boy every time.