BUY IT AT AMAZON: CLICK HERE
STUDIO: Magnolia Home Entertainment
MSRP: $14.49
RATED: R
RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Behind the scenes featurettes
- Deleted scenes with commentary
- Outtakes
- Interviews with cast and crew
- Photo galleries
- HDNet: A look at Centurion
- Commentary with director and crew




The Pitch

It’s Gladiator meets Butch and Sundance.

The Humans


- Writer / Director: Neil Marshall
- Michael Fassbender as Quintus Dias
- Dominic West as Titus Flavius Virilus
- Olga Kurylenko as Etain
- Riz Ahmed as Tarik
- Noel Clarke as Macros
- Liam Cunningham as Ubriculius (“Brick”)
- JJ Feild as Thax
- Dimitri Leonidas as Leonidas
- David Morrissey as Bothos
- Ulrich Thomsen as Gorlaco
- Imogen Poots as Arianne




Admittedly, the set designs needed some more work…


The Nutshell

Roman
Centurion, Quinton Dias (Fassbensder) leads the last vestiges of the
infamous Roman 9th Legion, which was lost to history during the Roman
invasion of Britain in 117 A.D.  Here, the Romans are the last survivors
of an ill-fated advance into territory of their enemies, the Picts, and
a subsequent ambush which routed the column.  Dias and six others
attempt to navigate their way behind enemy lines back to the Roman
frontier.  Their task is a difficult one, though, due not only to the
terrain and cold weather, but to the fact that they’re being tracked by
Etain
(Olga Kurylenko), the Pict guide who betrayed the Romans into the
ambush.  The mute and almost feral Etain has the ability to
track anyone over any ground, and a deep desire to see all of the Romans
dead for atrocities committed upon her and her people when she was a
child.  It’s a match of will between Etain and Dias, who is
resolved to getting his men home.




Good to see interrogation tactics have improved over the years…


The Lowdown

Of
the four Neil Marshall films I’ve seen to date, I’ve liked them all. 
The guy has a penchant for giving weight to popcorn flicks, and that’s
very much what Centurion
is: a weighty, epic popcorn flick.  A brisk, yet affecting adventure yarn.  It has much of the
grandiosity of Gladiator, a film to which it will invariably be compared, but is far leaner; not only in running time, but

storytelling.  Marshall is able to give enough heft to a plethora of
characters that populate this, what is essentially a period chase film that packs in the action amidst some sweeping visuals.  Indeed, in one key scene, Centurion echoes Braveheart‘s
epic battle scenes quite handily.  For most of the rest of the film, it
recollects Paul and Bob, on the run from a very vengeful posse.




“Model A Ford and a tankful of gas…”
“Model A Ford and a tankful of gas…”
“Handful of pussy and a mouthful of ass…”
“Handful of pussy and a mouthful of ass…”


Heading
up the film is Michael Fassbender, who gives a Dias an affecting
gravitas.  Dias is no Maximus, who looks beyond where he is to where he
wants to be.  He’s a loyal solider of Rome who, while not thrilled by
being where he is, nonetheless fulfills his duty with honor and
dedication.  After his outpost is overrun by the Picts and he’s
captured, he escapes to rejoin his Roman brethren in the 9th Legion
under the command of General
Titus
Flavius Virilus (West).  Virilius is also a loyal soldier, who has
endeared himself to his men by not putting himself above them.  If
there’s fighting to be had and mayhem in which to be engaged, he’ll be
right in the thick of it.  West portrays Virilius with a stern
likability.




“At least give me a clean sodomizing…a warrior’s sodomizing…”


Olga Kurylenko is the mute Etain, but there’s nothing
muted about her performance.  She’s sexy and lethal as a the Pict guide
who’s one or two steps away from being a wolf.  Her expressions and
physicality carry her where words can’t and she’s a great foil for the
Romans.  And it’s nice that there’s more to her story than being just a
bloodthirsty bitch (an honor saved for that blonde archer Pict). 
Supporting work from the other six Romans, most notably Liam Cunningham
as Brick and David Morrissey’s Bothos was good as well. 




“WTF?  Is that Hannibal up there?”
“Apparently, general, sir.”
“Why the hell is he wearing goggles?”


It’s not a surprise that, considering the
hypothesized real fate of the 9th Legion and how supporting guys
typically meet their fates in films of this sort, that some of the Roman
herd is going to get thinned along the way.  However, whereas many of
those sort of guys are all too often cannon fodder….or dog kibble in
this case, Marshall succeeds in bestowing personality to them when he
seemingly doesn’t have the time to do so.  On a side note, I wonder if
Leonidas, one of the Romans portrayed by Dmitiri Leonidas, got named that simply because Marshall felt like an in-joke or if its just a serendipitous bit of casting. 

Marshall has shown, especially with Doomsday,
that he knows how to take material from other films, adapt the better
parts of them around the skeleton of his own story, and make it
entertaining without being derivative.  He’s done that again here. 
Centurion is a good adventure film with fine performances, incredible vistas and a solid script. 




It might almost be worth finding out what she’d do with that thing.


The Package

The
look and sound of the film are good in 2.35:1 and Dolby 5.1
respectively.  I’m curious as to why there were only Spanish subtitles
though.  There are several standard
but
nonetheless well done features: a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted
scenes with available commentary, outtakes, interviews, photo galleries
and a commentary by Marshall and crew.  There’s also HDNet: A Look at Centurion to round out the offerings.




The Romans had a choice between this or listening to Celtic Woman.  No contest, really. 



7.6 out of 10