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Centurion

by

Jeff Nelson

Don't expect anything ground-breaking or surprising.

Centurion
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After a writer/director has released a strong film, the public wonders if the next movie will be as good as the previous one. A lot of writer/directors prove to be one-hit wonders or just got lucky that the certain film was as good as it was. Neil Marshall has proven that he's a filmmaker to remember with The Descent alone, but does Centurion stand as tall as his horror/thriller?

In 2nd-century Britain, Roman fighter Quintas Dias is the only survivor of a Pictish attack on a Roman frontier post. He joins the Ninth Legion, eager for revenge, and journeys north on a mission to destroy the Picts. This clearly isn't anything new to film and is a typical battle movie. It's focused more on limbs covering the battle field rather than well-developed characters and a plot to capture its audience. The pacing is weak from having nothing but repetitious war scenes and then uninteresting dialogue. If this movie has anything going for it, the fight scenes aren't too shabby.

The performances are generally hit and miss. Michael Fassbender and Imogen Poots are the two that do a good job with their characters. Fassbender is our lead character and is believable in his role. Poots communicates with other actors well on screen and brings her character to life. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the rest of the cast. They either recite dialogue poorly or generally don't have a presence making me believe they're in the time period.

Neil Marshall works his magic, once again. Centurion looks fantastic. Everything from camera angles, to filters, to direction. However, some of the blood comes off as cartoonish. The escape of Quintas Dias early in the film is shot very well, but the sequence ends quickly.

To sum it all up, Centurion isn't nearly as well-made as some of Marshall's past films. However, it could have been much worse. This is simply a mindless gory war flick. I don't see myself revisiting this film anytime soon, but it's a solid rental. It's worth watching just for the visuals alone. Don't expect anything ground-breaking or surprising. Centurion is average, but is worth giving a spin.

My Rating = Three Stars

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