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Saturday, 27 October 2007

The Last Legion

Just for you Matt....

This film is worth seeing. It isn't a classic by any means, in fact it's a bit of a B-Movie in its overall look, but that ain't necessarily a bad thing! If you've read the book, there are a few similarities...the names of most of the characters and the basic plot, although there the similarities end!

The film itself is set in the late 5th Century when the last emperor of the West, Romulus Augustulus comes to power at the age of 13. At this point, the Goths under Odoacer rebel and take over, imprisoning the boy emperor and his British tutor Ambrosine in an impregnable fortress on the island of Capri. Fortunately, despite getting a right twatting by the Goths during the sack of Rome,, a handful of the Imperial Guard led by Aurelius and accompanied by a mysteious agent of the Eastern Empire, lead an escape plan, the idea being to take the boy to Constantinople. The last bit of the plan fails due to the fickle nature of the Easterners and they end up searching out the last remaining loyal legion: the 9th, based on Hadrian's Wall in Britannia.

This is playing right into Destiny's hands, as Romulus has discovered the Caliban sword of Julius Caesar, an invincible weapon forged in Britain centuries before and wanted by everybody including the vicious Goth lord Wulfila and some dude in Britannia called Wortigern...getting the pictutre so far?

Anyway, they head to Britain and there's a massive battle to end the film, although the final scenes that come after the battle really set the context of the legend...I'll say no more than that!!

The characterisation is weak...the Romans are either all noble, heroic and tragic, or treacherous...(with mostly English accents!!), the barbarians are all savage and cruel ( with Scottish accents, curiously!!) and the heroine is cute beyond belief and can swing a sword and that's all we can say about her!!! She certainly can't act!!!

The costumes are typical Hollywood...despite it being 476AD, the Romans all carry rectangular scutums with the Early Imperial insignia on them (sigh) although they do at least carry Draco standards. The barbarians are stereotypical...loads of fur, long hair and huge axes!!! The battle and fight scenes are reminiscent of Cona the barbarian (not necessarily a bad thing!) and were obviously done on the cheap...not masses of CGI, for example, but, again, I quite like that!!!

Despite the obvious flaws, I really enjoyed it! Don't take it too seriously and you'll do the same. However, expect an historically accurate story of the fall of Rome and you'll be VERY disappointed!!!!

1 comment:

Matt said...

Cheers Andy!

I've passed on your wise words.