It's the first century, and Rome rules the world. After her husband's death, it's left to Boudica -fierce Iceni warrior, wife of a king, and proud mother of two daughters- to unite the fractious tribes of Briton and stand against the oppressive Roman Empire. Written by
... but, that said, an interesting document of its time. (Which is to say, 2002-2003, the time of the Second Iraq War.)
Romans are painted as arrogant evangelists for the Roman Way and "true" Roman religion -- as decadent in the extreme, by comparison with the virtuous (and bloodthirsty) Celts.
The radical inaccuracies of this picture are instructive. For example, imperial Romans are seen as intensely focused on the illegitimacy of Celtic religion -- real Romans of Nero's time probably wouldn't have cared that much about enforcing their state religion until the subjects were in the economic loop of the Empire. Standard Roman field punishments (e.g., death by slow public crucifiction) are conveniently witheld so that central characters can live on to avenge their humiliation. Roman camps, contrary to the usual marching discipline, are left un-palisaded and conveniently open to attack by the much-feared Britons. And the Celts themselves are turned into some kind of bloodthirsty hippie-clan, where Celt-on-Celt violence is conveniently glossed over and women easily sit at the head of armies.
(BTW, I'm not entirely sure these should be Celts, as they're said to be during the screenplay. But I'm sure someone can come forth in a later review to correct my apprehension...)
And consider: The phrase "terrorism" is bandied about self-righteously at every turn; sober elder-statesmen with a workable plans are subverted by treachery; a devious ruler vetoes the sensible advice of rational military men in favor of a plan that results in needless bloodshed; clerics drive the action behind the scenes, exhorting their leaders to fight for the honor of their god and heritage, against the corruption of their people.
All in all, it's a fairly heavy-handed metaphor for Americo-British imperialism in the Islamic world -- a cautionary fairy tale, if you will.
Oh, and, by the way -- it's a really dumb movie. If the production values were a little higher, it would be a real candidate for a bad movie night.
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