Centurion (dir. Neil Marshall, 2010) – An attack leaves a legion of Roman soldiers decimated and the survivors must fight for survival behind enemy lines.
An entertaining historical myth, Centurion never aspires to be as epic as the bigger names in the genre.
After his mortifying mistake at his Nazi-killing escapade some years back, Michael Fassbender now finds himself a member of the Ninth Legion legend. He now stands against the Picts in a Splat Pack member’s medieval war movie Centurion.
Boasting the tagline “History is written in blood”, the movie sets more expectations for carnage than historical accuracy. A myth is but a myth that puts storytelling before credibility. The bloodshed that director Neil Marshall portrays is not all gratuitous. Raather, he uses the extreme aggression of warfare to enhance real terror in his telling of the historical legend.
Red stains the grim beauty of bleak landscapes. A vengeful army is relentless in their hunt after the desperately outnumbered Romans. Even so, the despondency of the situation is vague with empty characters that make for convenient body counts. Lines are just as unmemorable, lacking resonance and empowerment.
Michael Fassbender is easily the most, if not sole, outstanding actor of the entourage. Triumph in his display of powerful emotions and vulnerability leads to a man worth rooting for.
Amongst the many classics of the genre, a flawed screenplay makes Centurion an easy target to rip apart. But in the course of brutal thrills accomplished with a tight budget, every minute of ‘glourious’ violence is as bloody exciting as the next. Are you not entertained?