I've heard of The Count of Monte Cristo for many years now. Well the book that is, written in 1844 by Alexander Dumas, the same author behind The Three Musketeers. I didn't really know the story per se, but it's survival for adaptions into the modern day is a good sign. I had a chance to see the 2002 adaptation, and crossed my fingers that they didn't mess this one up, but my hopes were very optimistic.
The film is set in 1815. A high-ranking sailor named Edmond Dantes is sailing around Europe, until his captain falls ill. They seek shelter and help in the island of Elba. Only to be fired upon by British soldiers guarding the island. They are nearly killed until the island's captive, Napoleon Bonaparte, the exiled French Emperor convinces the English men to spare them. In exchange for his help, Napoleon Bonaparte begs Edmond Dantes to deliver a letter to someone in France.
Edmond's best friend Fernand Mondego sees the letter handed to him by Napoleon, and he is enraged when Edmond keeps the letter a secret. Edmond is promoted to captain when he reaches land and is about to marry his love Mercedes. That's until his friend Fernand and his enemies conspire together, and they let the French police know of the letter. Edmond is almost set free until he mentions one name.
He is then sent to the island prison where only political prisoners go. He almost grows mad in the years of solitude there. He knows of the men he wishes to take revenge on. And he meets a man who will teach him all the skills he needs to get his vengeance. When Edmond Dontes finally becomes a free man, he's going to bring hell to his little section of France.
Overall I really liked The Count of Monte Cristo, though I haven't read the book. It's a wonderful tale of revenge, love, and a bit of surprises here and there. Though I have read that this movie made some major changes to the characters and even the ending was greatly changed. The actual book was huge, so it's impossible to make a perfect film based on it. But I really did enjoy it, even the faults it has to bring to the table.