A semi-documentary about the life of Verus, a captive from the Rome's Balkan province of Moesia, who is pressed into the harsh life of a slave in Italian rock quarry. He sees no long term future there, so when the owner of a gladiatorial school comes there to recruit prospective fighters for his school, he purposely picks a fight with another slave to attract attention. Both he and Priscus, the Celtic slave, join the school, become friends, and build careers as renowned gladiators, adored by the crowds in the arena and desired by women of the aristocratic class. The Emporer Titus completes his father Vespasian's pet project, the Colosseum, and wants the inaugural games worthy of his memory, so he specifically selects Verus to fight in them. Written by
I did not have high expectations on this movie, mostly because films following "The Gladiator" were facing a too big challenge, but this was worse than I expected. It is hard to define it as a movie, even harder to define it as a documentary, so I could call it (I admit, a little too cruel) a joke. Too bad for the efforts made to re-create the ancient Rome feeling, the commentary spoils everything. It is hard to understand who is making the comments, sometimes they come in the first person, sometimes in second, and several times they are referring to things that are totally out of the time of the Roman Empire - like the comment that the gladiators were sold as it happens to the football players, or the quotes from Suetonius. The fights are very short - the director could have used longer and better fighting scenes to make the movie a little more attractive, but failed to seize this opportunity. But this is not the main problem of the movie - it is what I was saying in the beginning, you don't know if it is a documentary or not. In my opinion, it is neither. If the director concentrated on the action, maybe it could have been a medium movie. I give this movie (?) a 2. That is only to offer some other movies the chance to be worse.
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