The Last Legion (2007) Poster

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No, Not Much Credibility But At Least It Was Entertaining
ccthemovieman-14 January 2008
Reading the back cover of the DVD and seeing that Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley are given top billing, I expected an intelligent King Arthur story. Well, it really wasn't either, although I did find it entertaining. I must not have read the description carefully enough. No matter; overall, it was fun but just a little too silly. I'm beginning to wonder about the discernment of some of these actors, how they can play such intelligent roles for a film or two and then revert to something like this.

Anyway, the story is really a Roman empire one, not a King Arthur story. We only see the tie-in to the later in the last few minutes of the film, in the epilogue. This action story is all about the last Caesar, a small boy, and the last legion that fought as Rome had now been taken over by the Goths. The Roman Empire had come to an end.

Mixed in with that tale was the famous "excalibur" sword. We see the origins of that and how it eventually got into the hands of King Arthur. But, once again, that is only explained in the final minutes. However, the sword is used by the good Roman general who protects the last Caesar from the Goths, who want him imprisoned for life, or killed.

What made the story interesting, at least for me, was the chase-scene type atmosphere of a small band of heroes protecting a little boy, fleeing the bloodthirsty Goths until they could mount some sort of counter-attack in the north in Brittania. That, and the pretty computer-generated scenery and action stunts, kept it interesting. However, don't look for credibility in those action scenes and expect the typical political-correctness of today (i.e. where a woman beats up hundreds of men and the good guys of all colors prevail despite ridiculous odds).

Some parts of this will leave you shaking your head in disbelief. You will feel you're watching a kids' film at times. However, if you want an hour-and-a-half of decent escapist fare, and can put your brain on hold for that time, it fits the bill and will at least entertain you.
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fun light-hearted legend
lukas197916 May 2007
I can understand why some people may be disappointed watching this movie, especially if they were expecting a CGI laden gore-fest. If you do not expect this then you should not be too disappointed.

I think the negative comments go too far. It never pretended to be anything other than an action/adventure movie from the beginning (so why compare it to hardcore historical stuff), it was funny, mixed up a few legends, and had a very simple but nevertheless entertaining story.

This light hearted and enjoyable movie provides well-paced entertainment that would be suitable for a teenage audience (perhaps 10+) but can also be enjoyed by adults.

There is no gore, sex, or swearing, and whilst the fine cast will not win any Oscars for their performance, they did a fine job in fulfilling their roles, given the movies objectives.

This movie does what it says on the tin and does it well. A fine example of how a movie can be enjoyable without every scene being covered in blood (although I enjoy those movies too).
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Historical accuracy is not the point
aereaus18 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
After reading through the comments, I was floored at how many people totally missed the point of the film. This is a tale of legend, and it tells it quite well.

For those who commented on the historical inaccuracies of costumes, armor etc., they are completely wrong, the costumes are accurate to the late period, (ask a recreator, we know). And yes, the long sword was in use by the Roman Army for a very long time. Late Imperial cavalry-length Roman blades were around 26 to 27 inches in length as opposed to the standard legionary 22 inch Gladius.

Anyway, as I said in the beginning this is a film about a legend. Do you think "Gladiator" was a true story? Yet it swept the Oscars. It is what it is, and after two viewings, I still have found no fault in the story, the acting or the direction. Historical fact and cinematic storytelling are to a certain degree mutually exclusive. No matter how hard you try to stick to facts when creating historical fiction in any medium, be it books or film, you will inevitably come across the necessity of a compromise between what can be established as "fact" (and even there period sources of the time are questionable) and what suits the story. In other words, you can be accurate to a fault, so to say, and have a story that reads - or visualizes - like a lead balloon, or you can alter the so-called "facts" to suit your purpose and create much more - and far more visually compelling - drama.

I guess some people just need to find fault to make themselves feel superior.

(Possible Spoilers) As for the story line... The concept of a Roman link to the Arthurian legends is not a new one. Mary Stewart's "The Crystal Cave" was the first book that introduced me to the concept, and since I'm a Western Civilization teacher, I'm fascinated by the histories and legends that have risen from what is known as the "Dark Ages" of Europe.

All and all, "The Last Legion" is a great film. I recommend it to any SCAdian, recreator, Pagan, Wiccan or Dark Ages history freak.

P.S. It was certainly better than "King Arthur" starring Clive Owen.
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A good one for the family
NeverWalkAlone17 May 2007
As others have said, I don't know why people are giving it bad reviews... The movie was good, entertaining and very family orientated( No Gore/blood - no nudity ). Granted, its no Troy, 300 or King Arthur, so if your looking for some epic battle with plenty of digital effects then this isn't for you. Having said that there were plenty of fight scenes just no massacre. Its not a movie you will buy but for a one off rental its good enough to entertain the family for the night, so grab a popcorn, sit down, put ya feet up and relax while you watch another tale unfold!

The kids will love it!
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A Nutshell Review: The Last Legion
DICK STEEL2 September 2007
There are many adaptations and versions to the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, with Merlin the sorcerer, and of the magical sword Excalibur, some versions which set it into stone, while others, handed out by a lady in the water. The Last Legion is essentially touting a story about the beginnings of Excalibur and how it took to the former. However, it took a long route to tell this story, going all the way back to 400-something AD, a time where Rome is in turmoil.

Actually Rome is in turmoil ever since Julius Caesar got killed by friends, Romans, countrymen. In a time where generals scheme to usurp the throne and politicians of the Senate are corrupt as hell, it's little wonder why one of the best and most loyal generals Aurelius (Colin Firth) gets recalled to protect the rear of the new boy-king-god-Caesar Romulus Augustus, played by Thomas Sangster (the kid in Nanny McPhee and Tristan and Isolde). Naturally the enemies spring a surprise attack, and our merry men have to flee Rome, and journey to Britain to regroup with the 9th Legion (henceforth also known as the Last Legion), bringing in tow a seer Ambrosinus (Ben Kingsley), and a lady warrior in Mira (Aishwarya Rai).

Like most medieval stories with elements of magic or involving the higher powers from Mount Olympus, The Last Legion does away with the sorcery portion, like what Troy and King Arthur had done, opting instead to focus more on reality, and what possibly could have been done without divine intervention, or fantastical assistance. Thus this makes Kingsley's role a little redundant, and relegates him into a fortune teller rather than an all powerful wizard, despite his garb looking a lot like Gandalf's.

While it could have gotten away with its material given 10 years back, unfortunately the stakes in the genre have been raised, and everyone's expecting a spectacle of huge armies battling in hand to hand combat, with its combatants having some form of fancy killing moves. The Last Legion pales in terms of providing that level of detail and spectacle, and chose instead to provide unsophisticated battle scenes, or swordplay that is a tad too uninspiring. Most of the fanciful moves were reserved for Aishwarya, but even that too began to become repetitive. Not even her booby trapped enhanced short sword offered anything we're never seen before.

With characters you don't really care about, what made it a little unbearable amongst the good guys, was the totally hokey, unbelievable romance between Rai and Firth's characters. It doesn't mean that having characters from the opposite sex means they find each other irresistible and want to get into each other's pants. There is absolutely zero chemistry and zero buildup. One minute they're allies, the next they're admiring each other's swordplay, and then, the bed beckons. And if the villains justify what kind of heroes we get, then it's a no brainer that they are bland and devoid of any interesting notion. World domination seems to be their only objective, and both the Romans and the British (using the term loosely here) villains are merely caricatures.

As I said, while The Last Legion might have worked if it's released 10 years ago, this movie can't justify it being made now. It's suitable at most for that DVD rental for a lazy afternoon, but nothing more, and only if you're in dire need of some, or any, form of entertainment.
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A case study in how bad directing, and cinematography can make award winning actors look amateur
odysseus-624 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
There was a lot of potential in this story about the fall of the Roman Empire and how the last Roman Emperor became Pendragon, father of King Arthur.

Unfortunately the entire thing is reduced to a very poor TV movie, and although the weak screenplay plays its part, this film is really case study for anybody who wants to know how abysmal directing, excruciatingly poor cinematography, bafflingly bad editing and over used scoring can take a cast that for the most part is award-winning, (with the exception of the dreadful man playing the villain) and make them look worse than community theater.

It is clear from the outset that the director has not got the first clue what he is doing. The actors have been given very little guidance. They deliver their lines, but are given absolutely no room to emote. Any moments where these world class actors would be looking thoughtful, or considering what they're saying with gravity is all edited out of the film, and the interchanges in dialogue are spliced so close together, there is never a moment where scenes are alllowed to breathe. It's all edited and directed at schlock B grade television pace. Add to this the fact that the cinematographer is obsessed with mid-shots and 2 shots and a composer who doesn't know when to shut his orchestra up, and you something that is barely movie of the week material.
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Awful - Delaurentis n Lefler turn 60M to cheesy B movie.....hard to watch but 60Million!! where, how??
filmtravel10129 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I must say that it isn't every day that you get to watch 60 Million go down the tube but this movie had a nice cheesy script, decent actors but i put all the blame on the director. As one said above, if Ridley Scott would have put his touch to it - surely it could have potential.

Instead, the directing is so amateurish i thought i was watching Clash of the Titans 2 with the same wardrobe even the silly golden mask on the evil character.. which was beyond cheesy.

But the hardest part is to imagine where did all those 60M go?? it wasn't the sets, the sfx were too unrealistic to be expensive unless for a mere video game, but maybe the actors got paid millions. Aishwarya was hot and probably the only eye candy but if it cost 5M perhaps it would all make sense.

It just goes to show that any good movie requires a director that can turn the script into a moving story and get great performances but this film looked like a miniseries for abc.. just painful to watch on the big screen. i just hope Lefler doesn't take the helm of anymore movies - i honestly didn't notice one decent close up shot and i agree the costumes were on target but they still looked right off the rack as if everyone went to a halloween costume store, and the sets unrealistically clean, it was not Switzerland but roman and English who didn't have street cleaners every day...and all the beginning roman sets make the movie look like it was shot in the 70s - one isn't sure they ramsacked a simple temple or all of Rome.

And I agree, the child was horrible...esp the beginning shots on the roman statue - yikes.. i could go on and on but it is pointless..

And to those that feel this movie is worth 10 bucks.. sorry but i would feel cheated even more but luckily for me it was almost free. I give it a 3 because i wanted to see lovely Aishwarya who did a great job in her fighting sequences and too bad she didn't have more least there would have been some beauty on the screen.

Save your money and just watch the trailer, and wait for it as a freebie, and even than you'll be terribly disappointed unless you have a great sense of humor than maybe it will become a B movie cult classic - the second most expensive after Waterworld.. at least that had good action shots.
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redhandfilms8 June 2007
I just got done watching this movie. And I must say, if you really want to see this movie, save yourself an hour and a half, and just watch the trailer. The trailer is really as good as this movie gets. I'm sorry, I had high hopes for this movie too. I'm a big fan of medieval and roman films, but this one really just falls short on everything. I would say thats its worthy of being a sci-fi channel original movie, but I don't don't want to insult the sci-fi channel (Seriously, they have tons of aliens and monster, don't tick them off. You will get eaten.)

This movie falls short on pretty much every account. Casting was awful. I'm a fan of Sangster, he was great in Love Actually, but he's not yet strong enough to be a leading man. Firth, with his quirky charm, should stick to romantic comedy. He's much better at fumbling through a confession of love than being an epic hero. The plot, dialog, acting and directing were all horrible. I kept sitting there thinking how it could have been done better, only to come to the realization the best thing to do would be to throw out everything and start over from the plot outline. The sets cheap and generic. They would have done better dusting off set pieces from Ben Hur(1959). Costumes were pulled from every generic Barbarian/Roman stock wardrobe or Halloween store. Perhaps one of the most distracting things was the music. I think the composer is sleeping with one or more of his trumpet players because thats all we heard. Trumpets playing as they hide, Trumpets sounding during the battle, Trumpets here, Trumpets there. Couldn't get enough of them.

At best this movie is a rental to watch at home. When you're alone. In a windowless room. Don't invite your friends over, they will make fun of you. I'm sorry if this sounds cruel, but, like the parent of a child failing kindergarten, I'm simply trying to express my disappointment for a film that could have been so much better. Its just sad.
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Last Legion is not that bad!
bar_chonok23 April 2007
Well, i just read the previous comment and i can't say I'm quite happy with it :( I mean, the movie was not that bad at all!! Everything was in the right place: the music, actors, the plot and all... No, really... I just don't get why he said (I mean that guy) the actors were bad. They were just brilliant! Well, maybe to watch this movie u gotta have a sense of humor because many scenes in it were quite funny. Ben Kingsley, Colin Firth and Thomas Sangster were really good it seemed to me. Well Aishwarya Rai could of acted better probably... But anyways I reckon there are so many really bad movies and I don't think this one is just watch-it-once-and-then-forget-it film! Besides, the whole thing was real: I mean the castle, all the decorations, they shot it on location, and if you see throngs of people running on the battlefield you know this is all real! I guess u gotta appreciate it because they could of made in on computers... I mean, it's such a rare thing nowadays... Speaking about the plot... Yeah, maybe it's a bit naive and even silly (remember this when you watch the final scene) but overall it was quite dynamic and everything. Finally it was Dino De Laurentis production, they've been writing the script for 6(!) years so do you really think they didn't notice it was crap or something? Well maybe it's not that great compared to '300' but it's good enough anyway My conclusion is: you gotta watch the movie especially if you like Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley or Thomas Sangster or if you like adventures. And it seemed to me it's a kind of a teen movie rather than a serous one (i suppose it's for people of 12-25). And one more thing to say: though it's a historic movie (and i really hated history at school!!!) somehow i liked it and I've seen enough movies to tell a good one. Enjoy!
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Music is Puccini
Timelagged20 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The "original" theme running throughout this movie is a fairly direct copy of Manon Lescaut by Puccini. Unusual to hear something so blatantly used without attribution.

I'm sort of torn about things like this, I know it's just entertainment, as the Arthurian legends certainly were, and have some value just as that.

However it's a shame to see Roman history, which is rich enough on its own two feet, now being turned into this sort of thing also, with magic swords and secret powers and so on. The history is so strong and interesting without adding that.
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