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Centurion (2010) starring Michael Fassbender (Arrow Recommends)

Centurion (2010) starring Michael Fassbender (Arrow Recommends)
02.25.2017by: The Arrow
8 10


"Arrow Recommends is a column that has my sorry ass advise older and at times more obscure movies to your royal asses. I will be flexible in terms of genres i.e. I will cover whatever the bleep I want. For now, it will be the way to keep my voice on the site."

PLOT: A handful of Roman soldiers find themselves trapped behind enemy lines and hunted down by a pack of savages, led by one cold-hearted chica. The men have to flee through the wilderness and gore through baddies to get home.

LOWDOWN: NEIL MARSHALL’s CENTURION (WATCH IT HERE) is a movie that I've kept going back to over the years, so much so, that I finally broke and just bought the Blu-Ray. Enough f*ck! I get it, I love the flick. And now here I am recommending it to you in case you missed this red-wet and action charged gem. I never got why this one received mixed reviews upon its initial release and tanked at the box office. Made zero sense to me. Then again, seems to be a trend in my world – I often dig movies that many loathe. So be it Jedi!

This baby was a fictional history opus, meaning that (much like the also badass THE EAGLE which was pumped out a year later in 2011), it offered up a theory in terms of WHAT happened to the real life Roman Ninth Legion. In case you don’t know; they were a military unit that marched into Scotland with 5000 men on its side to battle a rebellion and they then mysteriously vanished around 117 AD. And what Marshall came up with made for one hell of a thrill ride!

 CENTURION was gorgeously shot as it managed to capture the beauty of its varied landscapes (via all kinds of jaw dropping aerial shots) while at the same time double-downing on grit during its brutal happenings. The way the narrative was presented also appealed to me. This was a pure action-driven film; one that launched its story forward by way of all kinds of physical get-downs which were well backed by Ilan Eshkeri’s moody and enthralling score to boot. I relished that it was always on the move with the dialogue scenes basically giving us what we needed to then toss us into the next action sequence. I read some critics who saw this as a negative, but I obviously disagree. This is cinema, a visual medium and CENTURION hit the nail on the head in that respect.

Moreover, Marshall didn’t shy away from intricate staging/choreography when it came to its set pieces and the gore filled results. The exciting chases and countless fights were well shot and damn did it get bloody in this latrine! Like really f*cking bloody and I was loving every second of it (too much obvious CG blood though...sadly). Obviously none of the mayhem would have mattered if I didn’t give a crap about the characters on hand, but I did!

Empire Magazine said at the time that the film "could have done with a lot more character-meat on those bones". Well I disagree whole heartily. Do folks know the difference between an action fest and a character study? Guess not. I got more than enough juice about the players tackled by the impassioned Michael Fassbender, the sexy/scary Olga Kurylenko, the cool as f*ck Dominic West (I soooo wanted more of that dude in the film) or the endearing Imogen Poots, for me to give a shite. The flick IMO went as deep as IT SHOULD for what it was, more meat would have bogged the whole thing down.

If I would have any qualms, it would be how the picture blew its load too soon. At the end of the slit-throat, and this is just my take, a film has to keep topping itself, until it crescendos in the last act. CENTURION kept its more ambitious action scenes for its first two acts, hence what went down in the last act didn’t fully measure up. Don’t get me wrong, it  was still some visceral/brutal stuff, but I wish they would have gone bigger and messier.

Lastly, I’ve always felt that it all ended a bit too abruptly. I craved more as the end credits rolled, but maybe that’s just me. On the whole, I dare ya to find a more intense, testosterone fueled and rousing sit down than CENTURION. It delivered gangbusters in all that mattered when it came to pure and unapologetic entertainment and shame on all of the critics who shat on it. SHAME ;)!

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