Tuesday, December 28, 2010

'Centurion' = 'Braveheart' + 'Gladiator'

A few days ago, I finally got a chance to watch a movie I’ve been wanting to see for some time, “Centurion,” which was release in theatres on Aug. 27.

This movie was much better than I expected, and if you liked “Braveheart” and “Gladiator,” then you will enjoy “Centurion.”

The movie is set in the year 117 A.D. in what is today Scotland and centers on a Roman soldier named Quintus Dias. Dias becomes the lone survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman fort, and he eventually ends up as a member of the legendary Ninth Roman Legion. Dias and the legion, which in real life disappeared around 117 A.D., head in to Pictish territory on a mission to wipe out the Picts and kill their leader, Gorlacon. Unfortunately for most of the Romans, things don’t turn out as they’ve planned.

Directed and written by Neil Marshall, this movie stars Michael Fassbender as Quintus Dias, Dominic West as the commander of the Ninth Legion and Olga Kurylenko as Etain, a mute, female Pict warrior. Other actors in the movie included Riz Ahmed, Noel Clarke, Imogen Poots, Liam Cunningham, J.J. Field, Dimitri Leonidas, David Morrissey, Ulrich Thomsen, Ryan Atkinson, Dave Legeno, Axelle Carolyn, Paul Freeman, Rachael Stirling, Michael Carter, Tom Mannion, Peter Guinness, Lee Ross, Jake Maskell, Eoin Macken, Dermot Keaney, Hamish Moir and Dhafer L’Aberdine.

Despite the historical and entertainment value of this movie, it lost money. Shot on a budget of $12 million, it posted gross revenues of only $6.2 million.

I thought this movie was pretty good for a number of reasons. Being a member of the Peacock family, I can trace my family history back to the Scottish Maxwell clan, and in all likelihood, I’ve got Pictish (and probably Roman) blood running through my veins. You rarely see movies depicting the Picts, and I thought it was cool to see them portrayed in a movie, even if they were made out to be the bad guys. In real life they were probably just doing what they needed to do to survive against what they perceived to be an invading force of foreigners.

This movie was also in no way short on action. If you’re looking for a movie with plenty of swordplay and hand-to-hand combat, then you will enjoy this movie. Again, if you liked “Braveheart” and “Gladiator,” you will enjoy “Centurion.”

How many of you have had a chance to see this movie? What did you think about it? Did you like it? Dislike it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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