What a glorious blood bath. Well, the blood bath itself is glorious, but everything else…

Actually, this wasn’t that bad of a film. Yes, it’s one long chase scene. Yes, the characterizations don’t go beyond two dimensions for most characters. But it’s tense (Olga Kurylenko as the Pict tracker is intense), and there is enough character in the film that you want these guys to live, though you may know by the onset of the chase who will end up dying. That part actually is pretty unpredictable until the end.

Most impressive about this film is the visual shots. It’s reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, with many helicopter shots over snow and grass covered mountains, valleys, and fields, each one more luscious than the previous. Some of it does get covered in blood, lots and lots of it actually (the main story covers the alleged disappearance of the Ninth Legion during the early 2nd century, which in this instance is caused by the Pict resistance in the north of England), with heads, legs, arms, anything and everything getting hacked and slashed. It all looks beautiful and gritty at once, which is hard to pull off but Marshall does it.

Actually, from what I understand, Neil Marshall directed The Descent, which was apparently quite good (that was the horror movie about women getting trapped in a cave with cannibalistic humans living there). It had great reviews apparently, but, given that it’s horror, the audience is limited. He has a good eye and feel for directing. Hopefully his next project that gets released stateside gets more exposure (Centurion lasted two weeks in Philly, for those keeping track).

So, see it for the flowing landscapes and the equally flowing valleys of blood. Enjoyable for what it is.

B-

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