Frank Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen) and his horse Hidalgo are part of the Buffalo Bill's Wild West show where they are billed as "the world's greatest distance horse and rider". This claim brings him to the attention of Sheikh Riyadh (Omar Sharif) the custodian of what he believes are the greatest pure blood distant races horses in the world and as such invites Hopkins and his small mustang to travel to Arabia to take part in "Ocean of Fire" a 3,000 mile endurance race. Whilst there matters become complicated not only due to Hopkins becoming close to the Sheikh's daughter Jazira (Zuleikha Robinson) whilst but due to the skulduggery of others.
Anyone who visits The Movie Scene knows I enjoy westerns be it those from the 1930's which barely reached 60 minutes to those aiming to be modern day epics. But unfortunately I do not like "Hidalgo" and frankly watching the grains of sand fall through an egg timer would at times be more entertaining. And the trouble is that with the exception of Omar Sharif not a single character rings true and every one of them is mind numbingly boring especially that of Frank Hopkins. I am sorry but the casting of Viggo Mortensen is just wrong and he fails to bring any life to Thompson.
But it is not just the characters which are wrong as the action does little to inspire me and neither did the romantic subplot. Basically from a storyline point of view "Hidalgo" was a lot of cliche and little more which didn't deserve being over two hours long. But admittedly what "Hidalgo" has is a look, a sense of scale which makes it more watchable as does the soundtrack. But unfortunately the look can't make the actual story entertaining.
What this all boils down to is that "Hidalgo" didn't do it for me and despite the deserts lending the movie a sense of scale and beauty the finished product left me bored, partly due to the story but also because I didn't take to Viggo Mortensen's performance.