Horatio Hornblower, The Adventure Continues: Retribution

  • 2001
  • Movie
  • Adventure, Historical, War

Less suspenseful than its predecessor, MUTINY, this follow-up zeros in on the courtroom proceedings against Hornblower, who's charged with having usurping his captain's authority. Advised by his mentor, Sir Edward Pellew (Robert Lindsay), to hold his tongue, midshipman Horatio Hornblower (Ioan Gruffud) endures a naval court-martial in 1802. Although the...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Less suspenseful than its predecessor, MUTINY, this follow-up zeros in on the courtroom proceedings against Hornblower, who's charged with having usurping his captain's authority. Advised by his mentor, Sir Edward Pellew (Robert Lindsay), to hold his tongue, midshipman Horatio Hornblower (Ioan Gruffud) endures a naval court-martial in 1802. Although the tribunal is looking for a scapegoat, Horatio testifies that the tragic events that ended in the death of the S.S. Renown's Captain Sawyer (David Warner) unfolded in an atmosphere of do-or-die exigency. Flashbacks reveal not only Sawyer's erratic behavior, but also numerous examples of Horatio's fair-minded derring-do. After several sailors deserted their ship in the Caribbean, Horatio lead an overland charge on a Spanish Fort, setting off explosives that led to a conditional surrender. This could have been a phyrric victory, because rebellious indigenous slaves had been planning to storm the Spanish fortress anyway. But by threatening to fire on Spanish Captain Ortega's (Antonio Gil Martinez), Horatio outsmarts his nemesis and negotiates total capitulation. Horatio then lures Ortega and his wife aboard the Renown and holds them prisoner. The direct cause of Sawyer's death was injuries sustained during a melee caused by Spanish captives, but the tribunal remains suspicious of Horatio's partisans. Despite Horatio's innovative tactics, which spelled victory for England's Royal Navy, the judges intend to preserve Sawyer's reputation. Questions arising from an earlier accidental fall Sawyer sustained remain unanswered, and the court debates about where to assign blame. Can Horatio wriggle off this legal hook? Although the nature of the story locks this sequel into material that was already seen in the preceding film, it camouflages the repetition by filling its flashbacks with stirring action. Although it lacks the sweep of its predecessor, this swashbuckler compels interest as Sawyer's fall from grace (both literal and figurative) is explored in a courtroom setting.

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  • Released: 2001
  • Review: Less suspenseful than its predecessor, MUTINY, this follow-up zeros in on the courtroom proceedings against Hornblower, who's charged with having usurping his captain's authority. Advised by his mentor, Sir Edward Pellew (Robert Lindsay), to hold his tongu… (more)

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