February 8, 2001 | Attila Reviews

Attila the hunk. Hi Hun, I’m home! So who knew the big brute was also a serial ladykiller?

FOR reasons I had hoped never to understand, in the last month ads started appearing on public transportation which read, “Attila: Lover, Leader, Warrior, Hun.” Now, call me crazy, but I always kind of figured when it came to that most famous of Huns, it was more like “Attila: Rapist, Pilager, Barbarian, Hun.”

But Attila, long dead these 1,500 years, seems to have acquired a press agent, a screenwriter and a producer, posthumously. In other words, the 5th-century mass killer has been transformed for USA’s miniseries, “Attila,” into – well, into Attila: Lover, Warrior, Leader, Hun.

Sheesh, why didn’t they just call it “Attila the Honey?”

Who knew that a Barbarian from central Asia would look like a 6-ft, 2-in model from Hollywood? I guess there’s always the exception, even though by definition Huns were “short and somewhat Mongolic in appearance.”

Gerard Butler, who is currently starring as Dracula in “Dracula 2000,” plays Attila this time out, which means he went from blood-sucking vampire to blood-spilling Barbarian in one year!

Let’s face it, he’s a babe. If Attila had looked like this in real life, he wouldn’t have had to bother raping and pillaging.

And that’s really what’s wrong with the series. It’s not that it stinks. In fact, parts of it are really quite good, and Butler is even good, but the production looks and sounds, at times, like some crazy whitewashed ’60s historical epic. The only thing missing is Tony Curtis and Elizabeth Taylor.

Every time Attila falls in love, it’s with some big-boobed babe who’s dressed more like a 19th century cowgirl than a fifth-century slave girl living among nomads.

In fact, two of Attila’s wives, N’Kara and Ildico, are both played by one ex-“Baywatch” babe, Simmone Jade MacKinnon. (Has anyone ever been a current “Baywatch” babe?)

Anyway, how Attila had time to become the terror of Europe and Asia is hard to know seeing how, according to this miniseries, he was kept quite busy going to orgies and romancing the Roman royal women when he was a guest of the Emperor (Tim Curry).

It’s only when they stop with the dumb, sappy love stuff, that this series takes off. Particularly good are Tommy Flannagan as Bleda, Attila’s vengeful brother, Pauline Lynch as soothsayer Galen (really, really good), Powers Boothe as Roman general Flavius Aetisus and Alice Krige as Placidia.

Part one is more compelling than part two, and seems almost to have been written by two different people, (it wasn’t). If you’re going to watch the exploits of Attila, why would you care that he had guilt about not being as considerate to his gaggle of wives as he could have been? I mean, a marauding killer only has so much patience! So many slave girls, so little time. The end is quite interesting. Even if most accounts I’ve read claim that Attila dropped dead on one of his wedding nights when he had a bloody nose and choked on his own blood, I like the miniseries ending better. I hope that’s what really happened to Attila: Lover, Warrior, Leader, Hun.

Copyright 2001 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.

Publication: The New York Post
Author: Linda Stasi

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