In the same vein as 300 and Gladiator, Centurion tells the story of a group of romans battling the picts for control over a portion of England while struggling for territory during Rome’s quest to conquer the world. In the center of the story is Centurion Quintus Dias who, after escaping the picts as a prisoner, goes back on the attack to rescue a roman general who finds himself under the same unfortunate circumstances. After a botched rescue of the general, a small band of romans including Quintus Dias, winds up being hunted by the picts while trying to get back to the roman army base.
Unfortunately, this film falls short compared to the other two films I mentioned at the beginning of this review. The film could’ve been pretty decent but there are a number of problems. To start, the writing just isn’t very authentic in terms of the dialog that would’ve been prevalent during that time. The story has many weak plot points, is inconsistent at times and gimmicky when attempting to move things forward. I also would question the cultural accuracies here, but I have to admit I’m speculating on that point…
The props and sets are decent and the effects are pretty good too. They definitely amp up the gore and violence during the battle scenes to the point where it gets a bit over-the-top and a little cartoony at times. I also thought that the women looked awfully good considering their circumstances, a little too good to really feel realistic.
The acting is ok but feels a little dispassionate and phoned in here and there. Over all the directing isn’t great but is average which makes the film feel the same way. The lineup includes Michael Fassbender in the lead role along with Dominic West and David Morrissey (the Governor in the Walking Dead) in support roles.
I would strongly recommend 300 and Gladiator; Centurion I can’t recommend with the same enthusiasm.
reviewed by Sean McKnight