Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Centurion (2010) was directed by Neil Marshall.  Like his previous films Doomsday and Dog Soldiers it has a great premise but ultimately falls a bit flat because his direction favours style over substance.

The story is a theoretical fiction dealing with the mysterious disappearance of the Ninth Legion in the second century CE.  Marshall's film says that the Legion is largely destroyed by Picts in the wilds of Scotland.  Those that do survive and return to Hadrian's Wall are killed by a general who fears his military record will be tarnished if anyone learns the truth.

The production design by Simon Bowles is excellent.  As usual, Marshall and his cinematographer Sam McCurdy manage to create a visually beautiful film. Centurion was shot entirely on location.

I find that I'm always disappointed by Marshall's films.  He comes up with great story ideas and creates stunning visual worlds but he has only ever been concerned with making entertaining action films so his characters are rarely fleshed out enough to make us really care.

Michael Fassbender (300, Inglourious Basterds) does well with what he's given but Marshall mostly uses his actors as eye candy.

Fans of the genre will have to watch this at least once for the action and special make-up effects.  It's available on Blu-ray and DVD.  

The official website is also still up at CenturionMovie.com.

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