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Wick's Review

Created Feb 21, 2013 10:34PM PST • Edited Sep 05, 2019 07:58PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    The Last of the Mohicans was a benchmark in ’92. It still packs an action wallop, delivers a romantic jolt and provides a lens into the development of the American character, notwithstanding its historical liberties.

    This cinematically big movie features a perfect man who engages in a perfect romance. Make that a war-torn perfect romance – between Daniel Day-Lewis’s frontiersman and Madeleine Stowe’s proper lady. Women who can endure the movie’s savagery will be swept away.

    History buffs like me cherish celebrated director Michael Mann’s period piece because its French & Indian War setting provides a canvas to explore the ways of the last Native Americans living traditional lives in New York, the increasingly fraught relationship between British settlers and the British Empire, and the emergence of American exceptionalism, one generation short of 1776.

    Plus, Daniel Day-Lewis’s Hawkeye is as cool a movie hero as comes along in any generation.

  3. Great 4.0

    Daniel Day-Lewis dominates the movie, though onscreen half the time, in one of his iconic performances. Laconic yet supremely capable and physical, confident to the point of cockiness, it’s a classic American performance by the British actor. Oh yeah, his hair is perfect, with long locks that many women will covet.

    Madeleine Stowe proves a worthy true-love interest for him as a Colonel’s strong and lovely daughter. Maurice RoĆ«ves stands out as her father, a British officer under siege morally and militarily.

    The three main Native Americans in the cast set a standard for authentic Indian portrayals in the movies. Wes Studi’s villainous performance is every bit the equal of DDL’s heroic one, while Russell Means is quietly affecting as Chingachgook, the titular Last of the Mohicans and the adoptive Indian father of DDL’s Hawkeye. Mostly famous as a political activist, Means became a successful actor following his debut performance as Chingachgook. Likewise, Eric Schweig is also quietly affecting as his son and Hawkeye’s adoptive brother Uncas.

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Very Good 3.5
  6. Female Costars OK 2.5
  7. Male Costars Really Great 4.5
  8. Very Good 3.5

    The Last of the Mohicans feels like a Western, which seems right given that upstate New York was the Western Frontier in the mid-1700s. To that end, it follows the form of many great post-modern Westerns by lavishing nearly as much character development on the villains as on the heroes, and in showing the Indians as understandable people, even though their cultural values are dramatically different than the Whites.

  9. Direction Great 4.0

    The great Michael Mann is known for contemporary crime drama, from the TV Miami Vice to Thief to Heat to the big screen Miami Vice. But The Last of the Mohicans demonstrated that his deeper talent is in orchestrating stories about cunning men, no matter the setting. An action maestro, he employed 66 stuntmen in this big movie. The only surprise is its tremendous romance. Who knew the killer director had the heart.

  10. Play Very Good 3.5
  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Very Good 3.5

    The visuals deserve a perfect were the night scenes not so dark. Perhaps it is Netflix’s fault, but several scenes look like they were shot under a moonless sky, with no key lighting to illuminate the goings-on.

    That said, the terrific locations that look like pastoral upstate New York include Chimney Rock Park, NC and The Manor in Asheville, NC. Notice something? The movie was shot in Carolina. No Mohicans there.

  13. Content
  14. Sordid 2.6

    Savage violence is more heartache than most romance fans can endure. But endure it they must to taste the tremendous romantic highs in The Last of the Mohicans.

  15. Sex Innocent 1.3
  16. Violence Savage 4.0

    Scalping, throat slitting and even cutting out a living heart are all vividly shown. Savage.

  17. Rudeness Salty 2.5
  18. Glib 1.5

    This impressively realistic period piece credits the following:

    Thanks to Chief Leon Shenandoah and the Confederacy of the Six Nations, the Smithsonian Institution and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

    The last two are lovingly described as the attics of the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively.

    Literary and historical liberties have been taken, nonetheless.

    The movie’s underlying reality provides insight into the developing American character in the run-up to the American Revolution. Self-reliant landowners had little use for hereditary privilege. They weren’t about to hold their tongues or obey a government in which they had no say. Twenty years later came the shot heard ’round the world.

    Finally, the Indians are shown quite sympathetically, notwithstanding some savage traits. The opening scene of a respectful deer hunt is especially affecting.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 2.0
  20. Biological Glib 1.6
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


Subscribe to The Last of the Mohicans 4 replies, 3 voices
Feb 27, 2013 10:06PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
OK then. Hard thing to prove.

Feb 27, 2013 9:57PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
According to my English teacher during junior year of high school, this was the first movie in which someone carried and shot guns in both hands at the same time.

Feb 22, 2013 10:32PM

Regarding Wick’s Review
Thanks. It just came on Netflix OD about a week ago. Only problem is some of the night scenes are so dark you can’t see anything.