"I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."
Description: Russell Crowe as Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius confronts Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the usurper of the Roman throne in the historical epic Gladiator (2000).
At the beginning of film, Roman Legions lead by General Maximus encounter a horde of Germanic barbarians who dare to resist the forces of Roman Empire ruled by Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris). Confident of victory, Maximus pronouces “At my signal, unleash hell.”
Impressed with Maximus, Emperor Aurelius chooses to appoint him the new leader of the Empire, however, before orders can be carried out, the emperor’s treacherous son, Commodus suffocates his father, assumes the mantel of power and orders Maximus killed and his family murdered.
Maximus eludes death but is sold into slavery and becomes a seasoned gladiator known as the Spaniard, who eventually finds his way to Rome and back in the presence of the man who destroyed his life.
Commodus, not knowing Maximus is still alive, enters the arena to speak with the Spaniard who has become so popular with those attending the Coliseum. " Your fame is well deserved, Spaniard. I don't think there's ever been a gladiator to match you."
Looking at the boy who accompanied Commodus into the ring, he says, "As for this young man, he insists you are Hector reborn. Or was it Hercules? Why doesn't the hero reveal himself and tell us all your real name? You do have a name."
His face still shrouded by his helmet, the Spaniard says "My name is Gladiator" and then turns his back on the Emperor. "How dare you show your back to me! Slave, you will remove your helmet and tell me your name. The Spaniard obeys but the revelation makes Commodus tremble in fear.
“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next”
Although Commodus fears Maximus, he doesn't want to disappoint his adoring public and so he raises his fist and reluctantly gives the thumbs-up signal which allows this gladiator to live.
But Commodus is no fool, and he realizes that Maximus is now more popular than the Emperor and so he arranges to fight Maximus in the arena to show his people who is the better man. But before they enter the arena, Commundus injures Maximus to slow him down and thus guarantee his own victory.
|Commodus:||The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story! But now, the people want to know how the story ends. Only a famous death will do. And what could be more glorious than to challenge the Emperor himself in the great arena?|
|Maximus:||You would fight me?|
|Commodus:||Why not? Do you think I am afraid?|
|Maximus:||I think you've been afraid all your life.|
In a final battle in the Coliseum, Maximus defeats and kills Commodus. Now mortally wounded, Maximus dies but not before he orders the release of unjustly imprisoned Romans and gives the glory of what was Rome back to its rightful heirs.