When I started this blog I wanted to stick to war movies in the strict sense of the term only but now I feel I am in the mood for more liberties. A few months back I would not have included Centurion but now I do. I would not have mentioned Gladiator, King Arthur or 300 either. (If I did, King Arthur would be high up in my Top 10, probaly even making Black Hawk Down step down.)
Be it as it may, to compare Centurion (a British movie by the way) to those above mentioned movies is very unfortunate for it because it is not up to the comparison, I’m afraid. Nevertheless it is entertaining. However, compared to the three others, Centurion is super gory. And there are a lot of very combative warrior women in it. By the way, Dominic West, from The Wire, is in this one too but he is not the main character. He stars as General Vilnius. Michael Fassbender has the leading role as the Centurion Quintus Dias. The German actor Fassbender could already be seen in 300, Inglourious Basterds and The Devil’s Whore, to name but a few of his movies.
The year is 117 AD. The Roman Empire stretches from Spain to Egypt and as far as the Black Sea in the East. Only Britain is fighting off its invaders. The Empire is stopped by the savagely fierce Picts. Centurion Quintus Dias is the only survivor of a Pictish raid. He joins the legendary Ninth Legion of General Vilnius who is on a mission to erase the Picts and their leader Gorlacon from the face of the earth. When they are ambushed and the general is captured Quintus Dias is left alone with a small platoon far behind enemy lines. They first attempt to free their general and after this the real hunt begins. Led by a female warrior tracker (Olga Kurylenko), surnamed she-wolf, who has been mutilated by Romans in her youth and sworn to destroy each and every one of them, the Picts hunt them relentlessly. Without the help of a Pictish outcast, said to be a witch, they would not stand a chance but even so, they are soon highly decimated and in great trouble.
As said before, Centurion is really gory. It reminded me of Gladiator because of the battles in the woods. Of King Arthur because of the way they flee and are hunted, because of the scenerey, mountains and snow and also because of the female warriors. Same for 300. A little group outnumbered by a fierce enemy. The end however is quite different from the other three.
As I already said, it is not as good as the other three mentioned movies, since it is not heavy on psychology and the Picts are shown as savages whereas we are led to believe the Romans were faultless, but it is an entertaining watch with loads of battle and fighting scenes.
For a change the trailer is quite true to the movie.