Nobody can bear to say a bad word about Cate Blanchett, star of Elizabeth: The Golden Age," despite agreeing that the film itself is a big gooey mess. "Cate Blanchett can do anything," writes Peter Travers in Rolling Stone, "but she can't save this creaky sequel." Most agree with Roger Ebert: "We lose sight of the humans behind the dazzle of the production."
Liz 2 "overdresses and ultimately abandons what drew us to its 1998 predecessor in the first place: an intimate embrace with history," writes Desson Thomson in the Washington Post. But Cate still does her darnedest, as does Clive Owen as Walter Raleigh, whom Manohla Dargis of the New York Times calls a "smoldering slab of man meat."