The Commodus of Ridley Scott’s career: the past glories are history, he is already over the hill; doesn’t care about (film) grain, only games; butchers the visual parts pretty badly, mostly outside the arena.
This is a pretty standard fare rise and fall story, with liberally applied Roman characters, and gladiator fights. The main plot includes scheming senators and all, fun for all family.
It only fails in every other way. The visuals are the best when showing real people, and also the B-roll establishing shots. The CGI is pretty atrocious, and not just technically.
The bombastic one-note Hans Zimmer strikes again. It’s fine to quote other composers, but this is a pure ripoff of Gustav Holst and its planets suite. Mars Bringer of War features explicitly, but it’s not on the credits. The worst part is that parts of the battle themes were reused as the main theme from Pirates of the Caribbean, what a complete crock of shit. It’s not even the same composer, just Hans Zimmer laundered through another person.