Rated 4.0

One doesn’t exactly associate the name Genghis Khan with a good guy (unless you’re predisposed to eat babies and kittens), but with Mongol, Russian director Sergei Bodrov goes about setting the historical record straight in this tremendously crunchy epic. Well, maybe not straight, but at least entertainingly “Who-woulda-thunk?” in its revisionism. If nothing else, Bodrov fills in the blanks of the general grade-school impression of Genghis as some dude in a furry cap and bad mustache who ruled most of Asia back … whenever. Here we follow our young hero as he picks the wrong child bride (or vice versa) and kicks into motion the butterfly effect of very bad things recurring over the course of decades. Mongol is old-school epicosity, filmed in exotic locations and featuring plenty of slo-mo widescreen battles that eschew the contemporary CGI ethos of a typical Hollywood piece of historical posturing. Plus, there’s no Morgan Freeman voiceover.