Unilaterally Sarcastic, Dangerously Cheesy

Spring Break Boredom Buster Challenge : Day Three – “Centurion”

As previously stated, I’m not going anywhere for Spring Break. That being the case, I figured I would catch up on some movies that have been piling up on Netflix. I thought it’d be fun to go through and once a day watch a film that popped up as a “suggestion” from Netflix and review the experience here on the blog to provide the illusion of regular content.

So here’s day three…

The Flick : Centurion(2010)
The Director: Neil Marshall (Doomsday)
The Players: Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds), Dominic West (The Wire), Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace)

Synopsis (via IMDb): Britain, A.D. 117. Quintus Dias, the sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus’ legendary Ninth Legion, under orders to wipe the Picts from the face of the Earth and destroy their leader, Gorlacon.

Review: This movie could act as a sort of prequel to this year’s The Eagle. It presents a possible explaination for what happened to the ninth legion of the Roman Empire when it decided it could take on the picts in the northlands of the British Isles. Like The Eagle this one doesn’t have much in the way of historical fact behind its plot but it does seem to have a higher pedigree in that the Roman soldiers don’t sound like American infantryman. On the other hand, this film has a less realistic portrayal of the picts and reminds me a little too much of that Clive Owen King Arthur vehicle from a few years back; the one where we all realized how fucking skinny Keira Knightley is and our sexual fantasies changed from wanting to gag her with our gentleman’s vegetable to stuffing her throat with some much needed foodstuffs to prevent her body from caving in on itself.

Anyhow, this film is directed by Neil Marshall who is an absolute psychopath when it comes to his films. He loves a frantic and kinetic energy that permeates the screen and exhausts you as you follow along. The perfect example would be Doomsday, a film that was silly and crazier than it had any right to be and the audience can only keep up if it has the stamina of a bull moose. See also, The Descent. So you would expect for that same energy to cross over with this particular film. And you would be right. The film is put together like a western in some places, with Marshall drawing some heavy influence from Butch and Sundance. It’s a chase film, and the feeling of the hunter and the hunted being locked in a very real and very visceral struggle works well in the film’s favor.

It’s not the most artfully made film, it owes a lot to Marshall’s love of 80’s schlock but damned if it’s not entertaining.

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