Centurion (Review)

CENTURION
(8/27/10; Action, War)
Michael Fassbender, Andreas Wisniewski, Dave Legeno, Axelle Carolyn, Dominic West
SCR/DIR: Neil Marshall
MPAA: R for sequences of strong bloody violence, grisly images and language.
1 hour 37 minutes
BOX: $123.570

After a series of stylized creature flicks (The Descent, Doomsday), director Marshall tries his hand at the swords-and-sandals genre with this bloody opus about the 2nd century war between the Romans and the Pict tribe.

While the road to Rome is paved with good intentions, this flick is a mess. The swooping camerawork and striking CGI backdrops are a moot point when so much of the profane, pulpy dialogue and wooden characters (with names like Titus Virilus) remind you of a thousand better Gladiator-style flicks.

And about the profanity: I had a hard enough time believing all the futher-mucking language on HBO’s Deadwood and that only took place 150 years ago. Hearing the same contemporary euphemisms come from 2nd century Romans is a few fiery arrows too far.

The movie’s violence is impressive: Centurion has beheadings, eviscerations, ripped entrails, chopped necks and geysers of blood, all in fetishistic detail. I will also give the movie props for having very cool closing credits, but my guess is that most people watching won’t make it that far. (Magnet Releasing)

— DENNIS WILLIS

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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