Watching Revolution is a little like visiting a museum – it looks good without really being alive. The film doesn’t tell a story so much as it uses characters to illustrate what the American Revolution has come to mean. Despite attempting to reduce big events to personal details, Revolution rarely works on a human scale.
While intimate story of Tom Dobb (Al Pacino) and his son Ned (Dexter Fletcher, Sid Owen as young Ned) and Tom’s love for renegade aristocrat Daisy McConnahay (Nastassja Kinski) is full of holes, the larger canvas is staged beautifully.
Unfortunately, against this well-drawn background the small story that is meant to serve as a way into the drama for viewers looks too much like an historical reenactment.
Performances fail to elevate the material with only Pacino, Fletcher and Owen giving their characters a personal touch. Donald Sutherland is wasted and distant as an English officer, partially because it is nearly impossible to understand what he’s saying through his thick brogue.