Monday, August 22, 2011


At the time this came out, Dominic West
was the big name in this movie.
After his portrayal of Magneto in X-Men: First Class, Michael Fassbender seems to be showing up just about everywhere I look nowadays. His imdb page shows no less than 6 projects due out in just the next year, so I thought I'd take a look at some of his earlier work. In 2010 he was in two movies, and I think I may be the only person I know who has seen both of them. In Jonah Hex he played the sadistic sidekick to the villain of said film, so let us take a look at Centurion where he takes on the leading role.

First off, this movie starts with a terrific line, with a voiceover from Fassbender saying, "...this is neither the beginning nor the end of my story." Fassbender plays Quintus Dias, or QVINTVS if you want to get picky about it, a Centurion stationed at a remote fort in the northern regions of Britain that is attacked in the dead of night by the Picts and he is taken captive. While that is going on, the Ninth Legion led by General Virilus (West), is ordered to take his troops north to break the Pictish rebels, an order that he believes is wrong, but an order nonetheless. He is given a Pict guide, Etain (Kurylenko), a mute whose family had been butchered by Romans and had her own tongue cut out. And that is information they know when they decide to let her guide the Ninth Legion north. I'll give you three guesses what she's going to do a little later on.

Etain on the hunt
So, Quintas escapes from his captors and is able to evade capture until he stumbles upon the marching Ninth, and after Virilus learns that Quintas's father was a famous gladiator, Quintas becomes a favorite of the general. For all of five minutes before the Ninth is led into a trap by Etain, and the Ninth is annihilated and Virilus is taken captive. Quintas, along with six survivors, decide to track down and rescue Virilus from his almost certain execution, but fail to in the attempt and instead must flee from Etain and a large band of Pictish warriors back to Roman held territory. At this point, there's still about an hour left to the film, and I don't want to spoil the rest because it is actually quite good.

It really is a pleasure to review this film because it was such a pleasure to watch. I like the choice of setting the story around the Massacre of the Ninth Legion. It's not something I've seen very much of and, except knowing that they did get massacred, not something I know to many supposed details of. The acting is fantastic all around here with Michael Fassbender and Olga Kurylenko giving some of the strongest performances in the film. And I am happy to note that even though this is an action movie, the script writers go out of there way to give the story and characters depth and real emotion. All around this is a very, very good movie.

Rating: A

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