A splinter group of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is devastated in a guerrilla attack.A splinter group of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is devastated in a guerrilla attack.A splinter group of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is devastated in a guerrilla attack.
With Centurion, Neil Marshall has his biggest budget to date. The film is ambitious in style and tone. Marshall, who get a cult following after two excellent small horror films (Dog Soldiers and Descent) has gone on to bigger, but not really better things. Doomsday was a nice throwback to genre films (even though it didn't really know which one it wanted to be) and now Centurion, which has Marshall tipping his hat to Gladiator and Spartacus.
I consider myself a Marshall fan, which is why I even bothered to give this film a viewing. If his name weren't attached, I wouldn't have bothered. Marshall is apart of the Splat-Pack. The horror coined group for filmmakers like Rob Zombie and Eli Roth. It's no question as to why Marshall is apart of this group, every film of his has some body part ending up some place. It's funny to me that this film might be his most gruesome one yet and it isn't even horror.
The film's most gruesome moments are during the big attack on the romans. Arrows are shot into heads, arms, legs and necks are taken out like a hot knife through butter. I had a few moments where I was actually shocked at the carnage on the screen. One of the more gruesome period pieces. During the attack, the Picts (Scottish) take prisoner the General (Dominic West). The small group of survivors, including Michael Fassbender decide to try and get him back. They fail, but they did succeed in killing the lead Pict's son. He sends a group of people to go after them, thus we have a cat and mouse chase throughout the film.
It's suspenseful in places and aggravating in others. The lead tracker, is suppose to have excellent skills, where she is always on their tail, no matter what. Yet the filmmakers seem to forget this sometimes. She can sense them across the river in one scene, but not underneath her feet in another. These inconsistencies are bothersome. Yet it happens. The characters themselves aren't too memorable either. I couldn't really tell the survivors apart from one another and neither stood out of the crowd. These shortcomings in the script are what bring Centurion down. The most interesting character is killed off too early too.
Yet, Marshall still manages to deliver an entertaining film. It's not near the level of awesome that is Dog Soldiers, or even The Descent, but it does deliver what you would expect from this genre. There are moments where the film loses its sense of direction (such as a lover subplot) and there are even moments of predictability, but as a whole, the film delivers.
- Dec 13, 2010