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Plenty to Crowe About Despite the Unraveling of ‘The Mummy’ Reboot

Russell Crowe is perhaps best described as the Hollywood equivalent of Marmite but, love him or loathe him, there can be no doubt about the man’s acting chops.

Crowe boasts one of the most diverse filmographies of any actor currently working today and, after the panning of his most recent film, the 2017 reboot of The Mummy, it feels only appropriate to take a look back at some his most defining roles and remind ourselves how Crowe became one of only ten actors to receive three consecutive Academy Award nominations.


L.A. Confidential

Whilst Crowe enjoyed relative success in Australia in the early 1990s, North America’s first taste of the burly New Zealand native was in 1997’s neo-noir crime masterpiece, L.A. Confidential. The movie features an all star cast including Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, and Kim Bassinger, company which Crowe would soon find himself becoming accustomed to due to his impressive performance alongside fellow Australian actor Guy Pierce.

L.A. Confidential centres on police corruption in and around a sleazy 1950’s Hollywood backdrop, with the focus of attention surrounding an unsolved murder at a downtown LA coffee shop. Crowe plays the somewhat ferocious but equally fragile Wendell “Bud” White, a blurred lines cop who tends to throw his weight around and ask questions later. As  lieutenant Exley, Guy Pearce perfectly balances out the hot headed unpredictability of Crowe’s character whilst Kevin Spacey oozes his usual class, bringing just the right amount of self-flagellating humour to what is otherwise a dark, gritty, yet thoroughly gripping thriller.


The Insider

Released in 1999, Michael Mann’s The Insider saw Crowe take on the role of Jeffrey Wigand, a tobacco industry research scientist and eventual whistleblower. Wigand is encouraged and successfully convinced by the producer of CBS’s 60 Minutes, Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), to speak out about the harmful and addictive properties of nicotine and the film covers the subsequent battle with CBS producers to run the story and the eventual lawsuits brought against the major tobacco companies by the Attorney General, totaling around $246 billion dollars.

Whilst the movie performed poorly at the box office, it received universal critical acclaim, praising both Pacino and Crowe for their on-screen chemistry, with the latter being described by The New York Times‘ Janet Maslin as “a subtle powerhouse in his wrenching evocation of Mr. Wigand, taking on the thick, stolid look of the man he portrays.” The film earned Crowe his first Best Actor Oscar nomination and represented a real moment of arrival for the star.



If you ask someone the first word that comes to mind when you mention the name “Russell Crowe”, chances are that the answer will be Gladiator. It is is undoubtedly Crowe’s best known film and is arguably the most impressive and compelling performance of his career, winning him The Best Actor award at the 2001 Oscars. Crowe shines as the Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius, who embarks on a revenge mission when Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) betrays him, killing his family and devastating his farm.

With its epic fight scenes, highly quotable lines and rousing soundtrack, Gladiator quickly achieved cult status and its impact was felt far beyond the reaches of the movie industry. It is often credited with the increased interest in Classical and Roman history throughout the United States, dubbed the “Gladiator effect” by The New York Times, and it’s no coincidence that, since its release in 2000, the historical epic genre has seen somewhat of a revival, with films such as Troy and 300 making similar waves throughout the movie industry.

Similarly, the iGaming or online casino market has also felt the same Gladiator effect, with online slot games such as Divine Fortune taking cues from the same Mediterranean mythos that influenced the film.

With 200 free spins on the game available from Oddschecker, it’s an experience that appeals to both regular gamers and the merely curious. There’s also a 300 Shields and Clash of the Titans slot playable online, both of which have obvious relevance to Ridley Scott’s Gladiator.

Fresh from the monumental success of Gladiator, Crowe proved that were more strings to his bow than perhaps previously thought, delivering a heart-warming, emotional performance in the 2001 biographical drama A Beautiful Mind.

Portraying the rise and fall of John Nash, Noble Laureate in Economics and troubled mathematical genius, Crowe was once again nominated for Best Actor at the 2002 Oscars, narrowly losing out to Denzel Washington. It’s fair to say that up until this point, Crowe was in danger of becoming typecast as a somewhat brutish, physical enforcer and, whilst he had played this role extremely successfully, A Beautiful Mind showed a more fragile side to the Australian and established him as one of the most versatile actors working in Hollywood.

With such an impressive back catalogue, the majority of Russell Crowe fans will see the reboot of The Mummy as simply a blip on what has been an extremely illustrious career so far and will take solace in more recent films such as Man of Steel, where Crowe’s cameo once again received glowing reports from both critics and fans alike. Russell Crowe will be back and you will be entertained once again.


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