review for The Last of the Mohicans on AllMovie

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
by Jason Clark review

Challenging and stirring entertainment in a decade that seemed to be out of touch with adventure classics, The Last of the Mohicans was inbued with a newfound sensibility and daring by the gifted Michael Mann. An epic tale remarkably condensed into just under two hours of rock-solid storytelling, Mohicans operates on its own agenda and breaks a few conventions of the genre, but provides ample rewards. The chemistry between leads Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe is smoldering; their romantic tension is palpable in nearly every scene they share, which makes the central historical tale surrounding them even more urgent and pertinent. The director's knack for introducing American audiences to electric new talent is perfectly evident here, especially in the form of Wes Studi, who is positively chilling, and Jodhi May, who creates true vulnerability in a small but vital character. Also notable is the film's relentlessly accurate depiction of violence in battle, with the typically rousing heroes vs. villains archetypes laid to rest in favor of a more potent and hard-hitting illustration. A sole Oscar winner for Best Sound, The Last of the Mohicans was nonetheless hailed by many critics as one of the year's best films.