Sony Chairman Tom Rothman personally set up the footage for Ridley Scott’s latest. Russian and Austrian armies have joined forces against Napoleon. They’ve discovered a French camp at the edge of a field, and our titular character has hidden his cannons and invited the attack. Let the historical epic begin. We see dark gray skies and, beyond that, there is a blue tinge to the footage. Phoenix is (rather appropriately) wearing a tri-cornered hat. “Wait,” he tells his army. “Let them think they have the higher ground.” Fog rolls in as the armies approach — and it looks like it’s snowing.
Armies on horseback and on foot roll in, and they’re carrying muskets. They ride into a line of soldiers, slicing with swords atop their horses while the armies fire their guns. Napoleon is watching from a distance, barking orders and surveying the horrific action like a chess master. Our main man then sends in the infantry. At this point, it’s clear that the movie looks very big in scope, with hundreds and hundreds of extras. “Pierce their flanks!” Napoleon shouts. Riders emerge from his side, bursting out of the tree line into a large field aimed square at the now-exposed enemy forces. They retreat.