A ruthless mercenary renounces violence after learning his soul is bound for hell. When a young girl is kidnapped and her family slain by a sorcerer's murderous cult, he is forced to fight and seek his redemption slaying evil.
Michael J. Bassett
Max von Sydow,
Britain, A.D. 117. Quintus Dias, the sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus' legendary Ninth Legion, under orders to wipe the Picts from the face of the Earth and destroy their leader, Gorlacon. Written by
Neil Marshall and his director of photography Sam McCurdy spent about two years discussing the look of the film before making it. One thing they were adamant about was that it should be shot on location and nowhere near a green screen. See more »
The spear the IX Legion carries is a period-correct piece of Roman military equipment, known as the hasta. While certainly less well-known than the pilum (plural pila) throwing spear, the hasta would be a better tactical choice for a legion marching into heavy forest where the space required to bring up and throw a pilum properly is not guaranteed. The hasta, being basically a "typical" spear, is a more versatile weapon. It should be noted that every legionary was issued both a pilum and a hasta, though the pilum featured more prominently in the Romans' preferred open-field strategies. See more »
Centurion Quintus Dias:
My name is Quintus Dias. I am a soldier of Rome, and this is neither the beginning nor the end of my story.
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The end of the closing credits state that "This film is based on a 2000 year-old legend", referring to the mysterious disappearance of the Ninth Hispana or Ninth Spanish Legion in Roman-occupied Britain around 117 CE. See more »
I'm a fan of the culture and history of early Britain, so my opinion may be tainted a bit, but I really enjoyed this flick. It had a surprisingly good story and was not just a blood and guts war fest. It appears that the movie may be based on Rosemary Sutcliff's Book 'The Eagle of the Ninth', in which the Ninth Legion is wiped out in Scotland in AD 117. In any case, there is controversy and mystery as to what really happened to the 9th, and that makes a setting for a good tale. There is just enough history to make the story plausible, for example the creation of Hadrian's wall is depicted.
Neither side is portrayed as the "good guys" or the "bad guys", and to me, that brought a sense of realism with it. This is a bloody film, with heads rolling and a plethora of fighting, so don't bring the kiddies. I watched it On Demand, but I might go see it again in the theater.
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