Review – Centurion

Centurion cover image
★★★★☆

Centurion is a well done movie. The acting is great, battle scenes not without gore or intriguing parts, just an all around good package. One can forgive it for not having super hot women getting naked. It got the R rating for F-bombs and some battle gore.

This movie was created in 2010 and it is definitely worth a watch now. This is a great “what have they done lately movie” that happens to also be a great movie. I added it to my list because of Olga Kurylenko. The girl was awesome in Hitman. That’s a movie in my personal DVD collection. I just wish the sequel would have continued the story with the same two actors, but alas, the sequel rather sucked like most sequels. She was also good in Vampire Academy.

Michael Fassbender is splendidly cast as the Centurion. We get the added benefit of him doing voice overs discussing the Pict culture. So much of that was lost with the Roman slaughter of the Britainians. Today we call the British. You know Michael from X-Men.

Liam Cunningham was a pleasant surprise. You Game of Thrones fans know him as Davos Seaworth, the Onion Knight. Despite this movie having been created in 2010 and GoT finished in 2019, he looks the same.

Axelle Carolyn gives a fantastic short performance as Aeron the witch. I really hope we see more of her in deeper movies like this instead of just the horror genre. Not only is she easy on the eyes, she can actually act.

You are going to recognize an awful lot of other faces and voices in Centurion. It’s one of those launchpad kind of movies. Dr. Who fans will recognize Noel Clarke who played Mickey on that series. Yeah, he’s had some bad press lately. Twelve year old me has enjoyed chanting “Mickey quit trying to stick your dickey” whenever I encounter one. He was also in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. Another fantastic movie for your rental list.

Centurion storyline

If you happen to be a fan of King Arthur “origin stories” and general stories about the fall of Rome, you are going to love this movie. If you have already seen King Arthur (originally called Arthur) starring Keira Knightley and Clive Owen you have a tiny leg up on this story. Mysteries spawn other mysteries.

What happened to the Ninth Legion?

This movie also takes on the lesser talked about decimation of the Seventh Legion. It also really tries to tell you a lot about Pict culture, fighting techniques, and why Hadrian had to build the wall. The one piece of history it glosses over is that the Pict warriors believed themselves so fierce they went into battle naked. While you may laugh at that belief, they decimated Roman legions like that and forced Hadrian to build the wall. Roman soldiers were fully armored.

So, the storyline of this is a Roman soldier, son of a Gladiator, was the last surviving member of the Seventh Legion. He escaped captivity and was placed with the Ninth Legion that was ordered north to wipe out all in habitants to stop the raiding and slaughter. Didn’t go so good for the Ninth Legion.

The bulk of this movie takes place in the “didn’t go so good for the Ninth Legion” story. The other big chunk is the handful of survivors trying to free their general, then get home.

Politics, Romance, and stories that came before

Everybody wanted to save face. I can’t tell you too much without giving away the critical moments. Suffice it to say the movie really doesn’t make much ado about the slaughter of the Seventh Legion. Admitting to the slaughter of the Ninth Legion was considered political suicide for whatever reason.

This is a good movie for anyone not well versed or even slightly versed in any of the legends around the origin of King Arthur. You don’t have to know anything to enjoy watching this. If you wish to dive a bit into the origins story, watch the Keira Knightley version first.

Your own father married a Britain.

Keira Knightley’s character in King Arthur

All the myths and legends about the origin of King Arthur have one thing in common. A Roman soldier left the Legion and married a Britain. Some say he was the father or grandfather of Uther Pendragon who sired Arthur with the wife of an enemy. Other’s, like the Keira Knightley/Clive Owen movie claim that Arthur was the soldier who left. They are both nice twists to a legend. All legends that survive for ages have just a touch of truth to them.

For more movie rental ideas please see list one and list two.

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