The Count of Monte Cristo

Rated 3.0 Alexandre Dumas’ tale of Edmund Dantes—falsely accused, escaping from his island prison after 13 years, using buried treasure to be reborn as the Count of Monte Cristo, seeking vengeance on the false friends who ruined him—is given a lavish filming with a dashing Jim Caviezel as Dantes and a suavely hammy Guy Pearce as the chief villain. The film is badly flawed: Jay Wolpert’s script is tinny and dumb, riddled with anachronistic dialogue and cracking goofball jokes at all the wrong times; Dagmara Dominczyk is limp and boring as Dantes’ lost love; Kevin Reynolds’ direction, while generally smooth, fumbles the staging of some key scenes. Still, the story taps into a primal emotion, the lust for revenge against those who have wronged us, and it would no doubt survive worse treatment than this.