Brian’s Review – “Centurion” (2010)

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What’s it About?

A splinter group of Roman soldiers fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is decimated in a devastating guerrilla attack.

“Centurion”

Directed by Neil Marshall

7 out of 10

By Brian

It’s awfully hard to make an epic film about the Roman Empire after “Gladiator.” Ridley Scott really nailed the aura and feel of the hard life of the men of that period with his Academy Award-winning film. There’s a lot of people that don’t like “Gladiator” and felt it wasn’t worthy of the praise it received and I couldn’t disagree more. So, when I started watching “Centurion,” there was an “Oh no” feeling I had. Were they really going to try to compete with Ridley’s film?

It sure felt that way for the first 30 minutes. Here we have an army, a general beloved by his men, and barbaric enemies of the north. Then, something great happened. The film took on a totally different approach more akin to “Apocalypto.” We have a tougher foe on horseback chasing down weaker men on foot in a game of cat and mouse as they try to get back to countrymen that don’t even want them. This approach really worked for me. I love the idea of intelligent warriors trying to figure out how to survive.

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It would not have been pulled off if not for the great direction from Neil Marshall who is quickly becoming one of the great secrets in film today. If you’re not familiar, he did an amazing job on “The Descent” as well as the underrated “Dog Soldiers.” Since those two films were horror, I was curious how he would handle a film of a different genre and feel and he seems totally comfortable here.

Special attention must be paid to cinematographer Sam McCurdy who creates a beautiful sense of darkness and light through the lens. Almost every shot in this film is gorgeous. If there’s a downside, the plot is pretty thin. While I did find some of the characters interesting, others were throwaways. Also, the progression of the story is hampered in parts by odd decisions that slow it down. Still, if you enjoy period epics with grisly violence, you’ll find a lot to like here.

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13 comments

  1. I like all actors involved, so I keep intending to see this. Just hasn’t happened yet. Maybe I’ll get extra motivated after reading your mostly positive review. Great work!

  2. Centurion was quite a good film, especially during the opening 30 mins, with lots of action, and the change of pace midway through the story worked really well. There is a real intensity to how this film is shot as well, it looks really good. Great review!

  3. Nice write-up Vic! I agree with your comments about Marshall. He’s one of those directors that unfortunately manages to fly below the radar, but deserves more attention. I liked Dog Soldiers and loved The Descent, so I need to check this out.

    • I also liked Marshall’s earlier efforts myself. Big fan of Dog Soldiers. He definitely has a low key talent for good movies. I’m glad you liked Brian’s review! Thanks for checking in!

  4. It would be hard to top Gladiator, even Ridley Scott probably hasn’t made a better movie since. It’s good to hear Centurion movie does it’s own thing, I hope to catch up on this. Dog Soldiers is underrated and a lot of credit goes to the director. Good review.

    • Thanks for stopping by! I really like Dog Soldiers. It is indeed underrated and well done. Very unique. Glad you enjoyed Brian’s review!

    • Gotta watch this bad boy myself. Glad you liked Brian’s review. This movie sounds like it has great replay value.

      Thanks for checking in!

  5. Olga was amazing. I’ve never before considered a girl “hot” for her performance in a decapitation scene until she did it.

  6. This is a film that I should see, but never get around to seeing. It looks fun and better made than a 300 film. Damn, what in the world is wrong with me? WHY HAVE I NOT SEEN IT? What a shame! I will so! Great review dude, sparked my interest even further!

    • Glad you liked the review! Let me know if you get around to Centurion and I hope you enjoy it!

      Thanks you for checking in! Much appreciated!

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