Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.
A crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, are called into duty under the guidance of Col. A.J. Bullard.
Cuba Gooding Jr.,
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
German archaeologists have found evidence of the 9th Legion on the banks of the Rhine River and carbon-dated them long after these events took place, suggesting that rather than being wiped out, the reason that there is no evidence of the 9th Legion being in Scotland after these battles is that they moved to Germany. See more »
There are decapitations aplenty in this movie, with many lightweight weapons, short swords and small axes. Yet not even executioners during medieval times were always able to chop off a head with one stroke, even though the criminal was resting his neck on a chopping block and holding perfectly still and the executioner using a very heavy axe. 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 »
When the final credits were rolling my regular cinema-going counterpart observed "that was one of the most outwardly violent films I've seen since Kill Bill". That's not far from the truth. Limbs are hacked clean off, stomachs are regularly impaled and the claret fluid sprays endlessly. Though the major difference is where Tarantino's homage to the old chop-socky movies from Eastern cinema is cartoonish in its bloody visuals, Centurion is anything but tongue-in-cheek; here the blood, sweat and tears seep into the muddy vistas and bucolic rivers of Great Britain to intensify the atmosphere.
Director Neil Marshall (The Descent) has crafted a gritty movie that at its core is a simple 'cat and mouse' tale and a highly entertaining one at that but becomes much more thanks to the efficacious work from all the cast and crew. Marshall himself executes a few impressive sequences, the most outstanding being the initial ambush on the Ninth Legion, showing once again he knows how to stretch a small budget with minimalistic techniques and a passionate approach. Director of photography Sam McCurdy provides a suitably grimy and grainy look that, although at times is too dim, sets the ideal tone for the film. Perhaps Marshall should have monitored the editing closer though, Chris Gill's frenetic cutting very nearly ruins a couple of the fight scenes.
Major Hollywood star in the waiting Michael Fassbender (played the German-impersonating British Lieutentant in Inglourious Basterds) is undoubtedly the standout among the acting contingent. As the titular soldier, Fassbender makes for a charismatic leading man that convinces in both the physical and dramatic elements of the role. I eagerly wait to see what he does as the young Magneto in the upcoming X-Men prequel. Elsewhere The Wire alumni Dominic West is rough around the edges as the gruff General Virilus, Olga Kurylenko is positively bad-ass as the mute, monomaniacal warrior hell-bent on revenge and BBC favourite David Morrisey adds clout in his supporting role of Bothos.
A grubby, gory delight.
4 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)
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