Sometimes I’m one to go over the historical accuracies or lack-thereof in movies, but with Centurion I found myself not caring as to whether or not the film was based on actual events. Director Neil Marshall hasn’t done many movies and those he has made aren’t anything to brag about. This does not take away from Centurion‘s overall charm; all of Marshall’s prior movies seem to have acted as some sort of test drive for his latest film.
For some, Centurion may come off as a guilty pleasure. BBC FIlms always succeeds in making me happy, as over the years I have seen more and more of the studio’s work. While not filmed in a campy style nor taking itself in a joking manner, the movie, due to its grandiose usage of violence, is somewhat over the top, which by the way happens to be the name of a Sylvester Stallone film from the 80s.
There is a gratuitous amount of violence throughout the movie, more so than your average action flick allows itself to have. Most of the violence is quite visceral and even when you think you’re getting used to the fighting, someone gets a spear through the face and you instantly revert back to wondering how badly that must hurt as you cringe in your seat. Regardless, the blood and gore gives Centurion a rather unpleasant realism as the audience gets a crash course in what actual warfare was like in a time where people tended to stab other people with looks of madness across their faces.
I’m going so far as to blatantly state, rather than insinuate, how much like The Expendables, Centurion is a ridiculously manly movie. It’s the sort of flick you take a bunch of the fellas to, rejoicing in one another’s camaraderie. The movie’s plot revolves around seven soldiers, who after their legion gets wiped out in a trap and their commander gets taken prisoner, find themselves deep behind enemy lines and decide to make what can only be considered a suicide mission in order to rescue their fallen leader. There are truly epic moments, moments that make you wallow in the fact that no matter what you do, you can never be as manly as the men presented on the screen. And because I’m feeling generous tonight, I shall grant you all with the trailer:
Needless to say, the main antagonist is a woman warrior, Etain, the likes of which can only be compared to Firefly‘s River Tam. Deadly as she is beautiful, this master huntress/warrior embarks on a mission to hunt down our heroes, taking out anyone and anything that falls in her path with incredible proficiency. I was pretty taken aback by Etain’s sheer badassery; a woman without fear and full of wrath. This brings me to the movie’s fight choreography. Stylized and wonderful, the one-on-one battle sequences are most superb, managing to bring out the full effect with which they were intended.
Centurion is a wonderful way to spend two hours as you get to experience a nearly awe-inspiring journey. Generally, I didn’t really have many problems with the movie; sure, some parts aren’t necessary, or maybe we forget what the movie is actually about amidst all the fighting, but it still leaves for a bloody romp through the forests of ancient Britain. Of course one of my favorite lines in the movie, which can be seen at the end of the trailer is: “I am a soldier of Rome, I will not yield!” Spoken with such pride and anger…gotta love the Romans.