The Last Legion (2007)

I didn’t expect much from The Last Legion but I like movies set during the Roman Empire and this was said to tell the pre-history of King Arthur which sounded interesting and so I watched it. I wasn’t aware that Colin Firth is in this movie. If I had realized it I wouldn’t have watched it. That could only go wrong. He is not plausible as a Roman general and the fact that he seemed to make fun of the role didn’t really help much. Pairing him with the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai made matters worse. Chemistry wise it didn’t work. And how did Ben Kingsley end up in this? That it was historically inaccurate didn’t bother me so much or let’s just say, it didn’t matter anymore.

The movie is set in 460 A.D. The last Roman emperor, a boy of 12 years, Romulus Augustus (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), has just been crowned when the Goths invade the city. He is sent to Capri with his mentor Ambrosinus (Kingsley), part druid, part warrior. They are rescued from Capri by the loyal general Aurelius (Firth) who is helped by three male and one female warrior. After realizing they have been betrayed by senator Nestor, they flee to Britannia to look for the Ninth Legion which is located so far away from Rome that it might hopefully still be loyal to the emperor.

While there is hardly anything supernatural happening with the exception of the emperor finding Excalibur, there are a lot of fighting scenes, some romance and most of all the well liked topic of a very few highly dexterous warriors against a lot of far weaker opponents.

While I’m still not sure the movie was intentionally funny, I didn’t mind watching it because it made me laugh quite often. It may very well be that with another main actor it wouldn’t have been funny but at possibly much more decent. I think this is easily Colin Firth’s worst role.

While it was based on the novel The Last Legion by Valerio Massimo Manfredi it felt as if it had been adapted from a comic.

Watch it if you like action-adventures and if you are extremely keen on movies on the Roman Empire and don’t mind historical inaccuracy. I wouldn’t rate it higher than 2/5.

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8 thoughts on “The Last Legion (2007)

  1. Guy Savage says:

    Just the poster puts me off. I’ll pass on this one, but when I saw the title I thought “French Foreign Legion”….

    • I’m a bit ashamed to confess I watched it but on the other hand I know some people are glad when you tell them what to expect. I have no idea how I didn’t see Firth was in it. He was awful.

  2. the war movie buff says:

    So I guess you would put it behind The Eagle and Centurion? Thanks for the warning. I have a feeling I will laugh a lot when I watch it. I agree that Kingsley seems an odd fit. I think there has to be a great Roman legion movie waiting to be made.

    • Yes, it would be great, if there was such a movie.
      I haven’t seen The Eagle yet but it is decidedly worse than Centurion which is excellent in comparison.
      You would laugh a lot. But I’m really not sure it was meant to be funny.

  3. the war movie buff says:

    I have seen several movies lately that were unintentionally funny. For instance, Battleship, Immortal Sergeant, Battle of the Bulge.

    • Battle of the Bulge as well? I’m not surprised about Battleship, I remember your review. I was almost tempted as it sounded so hilarious.

      • the war movie buff says:

        It was the deaths in Battle of the Bulge, Almost all of them were the type I call “signalling touchdown while twirling and falling”. Immortal Sergeant has this scene where the infantry shoots down this German plane which proceeds to crash land on fire and chase a truck, running into it and exploding. Hilarious!

  4. […] The Last Legion (USA/ GBR/ FRA 2007) directed by Doug Lefler, starring Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley, Thomas Sangster (my review) […]

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