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Reviews and SPOILERS

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:00 pm

http://watch-play-listen.com/?p=226

Centurion: This Is Not SPARTA!!!!

Apr.19, 2010

Another less than favourable review from Wez.

The story of a tiny group of Roman soldiers running for their lives in the wilds of Scotland after their legion is almost wiped out in an attack by local Pict warriors.
From the outset this film is confusing and seems unable to make its mind up on its direction. The line “We go north because they think we will go south” kind of sums it up. Neil Marshall is an amazing British talent with writing and directing credits such as ‘Dog soldiers’, ‘Doomsday’ and ‘The Decent’ all under his belt, it is a shame, Centurion is so lacking. Marshall has made a brave attempt to take a story of a few roman soldiers fight for survival and create a ‘Western’, but has failed in my view.

If you can look beyond the Lord of the Rings esk camera work and the Butch and Sundance jump from the cliff, there are a few good moments, but they are few and far between. However, for all of its attempts, to create a convincing and authentic landscape, Marshall has made a few easily avoidable mistakes. For a film that is only 97 minutes long, it felt a lot longer. To the point where I was thinking I could leave the theatre for a crafty pee, get back and have missed nothing important.

Coming to the end, I found I had little sympathy for any of the cast. The moments in the final act that were supposed to have sparked emotion from the audience, fell flat. They unintentional made you feel cheated and you had to fight the urge to shout at the screen.

Centurion was real shame, and in my view, a film that should be used to teach young directors and film makers, how not to create a compelling and immersive narrative.

5/10

Centurion is out on general release in the UK from the 23rd April 2010.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:43 pm

http://www.puremovies.co.uk/reviews/centurion/

Centurion

2010 | Action | Pathe

Director: Neil Marshall

Staring: Axelle Carolyn, David Morrissey, Dominic West, JJ Feild, Michael Fassbender, Noel Clarke, Olga Kurylenko

PM rating: ★★★★☆

Written by Mark Leach

Centurion takes us back to AD 117 when The Roman Empire stretched from Egypt to Spain, and East as far as the Black Sea. But in northern Britain, the relentless onslaught of conquest has ground to a halt in face of the guerrilla tactics of the Picts. Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), sole survivor of a Pictish raid on a Roman frontier fort, marches north with General Virilus’ (Dominic West) legendary Ninth Legion, under orders to wipe the Picts and destroy their leader Gorlacon. But when the legion is ambushed on unfamiliar ground, Quintus faces a desperate struggle to keep his small platoon alive behind enemy lines.

But Gladiator this is not, nor even a Roman Band of Brothers. Marshall has honed a distinctive horror aesthetic in his previous films; Doomsday being the latest example, and it is on full display here. Centurion’s extreme violence feels like something from a horror rather than a war film; heads being smashed to pieces, blood flying every which way. So bloody in fact that it often ceases to be truly frightening and the age-old fine line between horror and comedy becomes blurred. However, some of the fight scenes are hard to follow thanks to quick editing and lack of distinguishing marks between the two warring sides. They do move the film along at a fast pace, but Ridley Scott would flinch and Tom Hanks certainly wouldn’t put his name to this gorefest. Neil Marshall has now developed a distinctive cinematic voice and he’s showing the older players that there can be other ways of doing things.

Centurion is a cool, but beautifully shot film. Sweeping desolate landscapes adding to the feeling of isolation and peril that Roman soldiers faced in a world without GPS and radio communication. Some shots are so expansive and so lonely, they add to a haunting atmosphere where those alive wished they weren’t and where no one else would wish to be.

Dominic West is a dirty warrior and a General that commands complete loyalty from his men thanks to his hands on approach. He plays the role with a similar cheeky charm he portrayed so well as McNulty in The Wire. Fassbender proves to be a dominating screen presence and holds the film together remarkably well. He’s been gaining increasing attention since Inglourious Basterds, and he meets the challenge of his first title role in a mainstream film exceptionally well. It’s clear that he has a bright future. David Morrissey is criminally underused – as one of the UK’s leading acting talents, Centurion does not give him a platform to shine, though he is dependably excellent when he does appear.
Centurion tells the story of the hubris of empire and the repeated triumph of smaller less organised forces throughout history. There is one obvious comparison and that is with the American ‘empire’. There are some clear parallels; the initial attack on the Roman legion looks suspiciously like an Improvised Explosive Devise of the sort that has proved so lethal to US and UK troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This helps make Centurion feel relevant and adds to the satisfying feeling of watching a truly British production by one of the country’s most important new cinematic talents accompanied by the cream of the crop of our acting talent. For those reasons alone, Centurion is worth seeing. But it’s actually also a lot of fun too.

Last edited: 18th April 2010


Last edited by greyeyegoddess on Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:20 pm

http://blog.onthebox.com/2010/04/21/centurion-review-worth-its-salt/

Centurion Review: Worth Its Salt

April 21, 2010 by Jez Sands

stars-3half

centurion300CENTURION (15): On General Release Friday 23rd April

Tis the season for historical epics. After the car crash that was Clash Of The Titans comes another sandal-wearing, gladius-wielding movie but thankfully Centurion keeps its feet on the ground and its finger on the pulse.

The centurion in question is Quintas Dias (Fassbender) stationed to guard the northern most frontier of the Roman Empire in Britain. His stockade is constantly raided by the indomitable native Picts who are using guerilla tactics to harass the Roman garrison.

Worried that this is becoming a severe drain on the resources and frustrated that they can’t pacify apparent savages, his leaders recruit Etain (Olga Kurylenko) a mute Pict huntress who will lead the Ninth Legion on a last ditch assault on the enemy encampment.

Needless to say it all goes a bit wrong and General Villius (Dominic West) ends up being captured in an ambush that wipes out most of the legion. It’s therefore up to Quintus and a rag tag band of survivors to rescue the General and escape back to camp with their lives.

Michael Fassbender is fast carving a name for himself for being reliably versatile actor in every film he’s in, whether as morally ambiguous rogue (Fishtank) or Nazi killing solider (Inglourious Basterds). Centurion is no exception as Fassbender plays Quintus as a competent and tough survivor – a smart, confident career solider who’s got through by being tough and doing necessary but unpleasant tasks.

At no point do you see him grandstanding or spoiling for fights. This is a film very much grounded in the realism of battle – marching is hard work, skirmishes are brutal, death is unpleasant.


Olga Kurylenko manages to invest the seemingly infallible, mute tracker Etain with enough snake-eyed menace that words would only detract from her spite.

Unfortunately the same can’t be said of the supporting cast who resemble a kind of United Nations Magnificent Seven. There’s the black one (Noel Clarke – sounding oddly Saaf Laandan for Roman solider), the Asian one (Riz Ahmed – a cook oddly proficient at hurling meat cleavers), the Greek one, the gruff one, the old one and the untrustworthy one.

It’s at its worst when it falls into the trap of telling you rather than showing a character’s motivations – “first sign of trouble and I’m off” says one of the group. You might as well have him holding a sign that says, “I am an untrustworthy character”.

Centurion is shot beautifully – everything has a washed out look which serves to emphasise the cold and bleak terrain; every move the squad makes looks like an effort and you can practically smell the mud which cakes everything.

Battle scenes are appropriately exciting but you might have to have a strong stomach to withstand the amount of gouging and hacked limbs. This being a Neil Marshall film, it has its fair share of gore but it never feels excessive; violence is used to underscore the brutality of battle, not to revel in it.

Centurion isn’t Marshall’s best (that honour goes to the fantastic claustrophobic horror The Descent) but it’s a refreshing take on increasingly familiar subject matter and you should see this over Clash of The Titans any day.


Last edited by greyeyegoddess on Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:30 pm

http://movies.ign.com/articles/108/1085102p1.html


Centurion UK Review
Neill Marshall tackles the Roman Legion in this bloody action pic.
by Anna Smith, IGN UK

UK, April 21, 2010 - Dog Soldiers/The Descent director Neil Marshall takes on the swords and sandals genre in this typically bloody action flick.

Fashioning a fantasy around the legendary missing Roman Ninth Legion, Marshall has cannily cast the versatile Michael Fassbender (Eden Lake, Inglourious Basterds) as principled Roman warrior Quintus Dias. Dias is the sole survivor of a Pictish raid in northern Britain, AD 117. Spared death after swearing at the Picts in their own language, prisoner Dias is rescued by fellow Romans, only to find himself knee-deep in more bloodshed when he teams up with the Ninth Legion.

Click on Michael Fassbender's naked torso for the Centurion trailer.

Before long, the Legion falls foul of those pesky Picts again. Heads are lopped off and limbs fly: just a small group of the Ninth Legion remain. It's up to Quintus Dias to lead the gang in a mission to rescue the popular General Virilus (Dominic West) while keeping this bare-bones team alive. Good luck with that, mate.

Fassbender balances brawn and brains well, his character convincingly juggling impressive battle skills with what appears to be a sensitive soul. His relationship with Virilus has promise, and David Morrissey provides solid support as Bothos, a more primitive but deeply loyal warrior.


Elsewhere in the rag-tag group of survivors, all is not so well: there's a snake in the grass too ready to save his own skin, and a number of Romans whose inexperience in combat could prove to be their undoing.

Centurion features its fair share of bloody deaths.

Such characters are woefully sketchy; in fact just about everyone in Centurion could do with fleshing out, metaphorically speaking. Even Dias begs for more backstory, as do the downtrodden Picts, the underdogs who've decided to rise up in arms.

There's also a spot of miscasting: usually impressive Brit actors Noel Clarke and Riz Ahmed both feel like they've wandered in from contemporary films. Saddled with straightforward dialogue, these sidekick characters are also begging for a more humorous approach. Centurion is a generally po-faced affair, rarely offering comic respite from the Romans' long trudge through the countryside as they try to avoid an expert tracker.

Ah, the tracker. This one's quite interesting - she's none-other-than former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, who cuts quite a dash in leather rags and heavy eyeliner. Her character Etain has had her tongue ripped out, but she can still let out a warrior's roar that'll chill you to the bone. Yep, this mute beauty is no pushover: she's Dias' nemesis, a bloodthirsty killer hell-bent on revenge, who can sniff out a Roman a mile off.

Kurylenko puts in a memorable, energetic performance, but her character is still skin-deep. Her story is briefly, all-too-simply told - this is one occasion when flashbacks might have been a good idea.

Olga Kurlylenko is memorable as a warrior Pict.

With undercooked characters, a slight plot and simplistic, occasionally cliched dialogue, it's left to the action to impress. And thankfully, it does. Marshall always had a handle on inventive deaths, and he's given free reign to indulge himself with the battle scenes, in which geysers of blood spurt dramatically into the sky. The look is stylised: the blood's more lurid than naturalistic, but it jars nicely with the gritty black, white and grey hues of this film's harsh landscape while avoiding the sheen of, say, Sin City.

So far, so macho, but then Centurion takes a surprising turn, as if suddenly remembering that romance can be quite popular with the ladies. The Romans come upon a hut in a clearing, where a beautiful blonde woman (28 Weeks Later's Imogen Poots, all grown up) resides. She offers them protection and kindness, while taking a few sidelong glances at Fassbender's pecs. All very well, but this romance feels too set-up; too good to be true. It's surprisingly soft-focus for a film that otherwise plays by the gritty-is-great rule.

And so we are left with a bit of a mish-mash of a film. It doesn't have a clear sense of purpose, other than a few rescue set-pieces and a generic survival storyline. It's not desperately gripping. It's only fitfully emotionally involving - never tugging at the heartstrings like Gladiator, for example. But it's on a much tighter budget than Ridley's Roman epic, and it does action well.

So, if you're up for creative battle scenes and classic Marshall gore, Centurion's a good bet. But it lacks the fun of Dog Soldiers and both the character development and suspense of The Descent. It's good to see Marshall taking on another genre, and he certainly doesn't disgrace himself: Centurion could have a certain cult appeal, a bit like his apocalyptic oddity Doomsday. If you're as bloodthirsty as the Picts, it should satisfy. But anyone else may be left wanting more from this ambitious actioner.

Rating InfoRating Info
3 out of 5 Stars | 6/10

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:36 pm

http://www.heyuguys.co.uk/2010/04/21/review-centurion/

Review: Centurion

Posted by Emily Breen on April 21, 2010 · View Comments

In AD 117 the Roman Empire spanned territory from Egypt to Spain and as far as the Black Sea to the East. In Northern Britain though, the Roman onslaught ground to a halt when it met an elusive enemy whose guerrilla tactics and surprise attacks made dominos of their rigid formations. These were the savage tribes of the Picts.

Quintus (Michael Fassbender) is the sole survivor of a Pictish raid, the eponymous Centurion. Son of a Gladiator, Quintus is a proud and passionate warrior, he marches North with General Virilus’ legendary Ninth Legion determined to avenge the slaying of his comrades. The Ninth’s mission is to rid the land of the Picts and their leader Gorlacon. But the legion is ambushed, the bulk of its men massacred, and General Virilus captured. Quintus assumes command and leads a handful of soldiers across the unfamiliar terrain to recover their general and to return to the Roman frontier with their lives…

Neil Marshall has long been fascinated with the idea of telling the story of Hadrian’s Wall. Having grown up at its Newcastle upon Tyne end and led years of his working life at its Cumbrian conclusion he spent hundreds of hours driving along the road beside the wall wondering what stories it could tell. When he heard the legend of the Ninth Legion and their mysterious disappearance his writer’s mind began to fill in the gaps and conjure their fate. The result was Centurion.

Speaking to his intentions and the question of modern parallels Marshall says:

“Primarily I wanted to tell a story about individuals, and it’s about this handful of guys who are fighting their way home. It’s their story. So I don’t necessarily want the audience to pick a side and choose what’s right or wrong. It’s about individuals and you either root for those individuals or you don’t. It’s much the same as any story really.”

On the page this sounds promising, creditable even. I had never heard of the Ninth Legion and found the promise of an explanation of their vanishing intriguing. Producer Robert Jones describes Centurion as a character-based chase movie in the spirit of Apocalypto, Southern Comfort and Last of the Mohicans. Marshall himself intended something of an homage to the classic John Ford cavalry westerns and there are scenes where that intention is carried out to the letter. As evidenced by his previous films, Dog Soldiers and The Descent in particular, Neil Marshall is expert in managing the exhilarating, heart stopping thrill of pursuit. He is also peerless in his ability to create authentic camaraderie in his casts. His deft, decisive, direction conducts the orchestra of departments flawlessly so that the physical environments of the sets and landscapes feel utterly believable and Centurion is no exception.

The mountains and valleys of Aviemore convey the breathtaking awe of the Scottish landscape in a way that all the pixel power of ILM never could and, while the makeup is excellent, the powder blue tinge of the actors’ skin is an authentic shade of half-frozen actor – Neil Marshall blue! The hack and slash and chop of sword and axe are readily answered by the 200+ litres of blood Paul Hyett and his effects department splashed over the frozen ground. The cast are, in the main, strong and Dominic West’s Virilus is particularly good value – a great booming caricature of a beloved general. They were each called upon to fight, ride and climb in bitter conditions and it is to their credit that all are utterly believable in the hostile environment. In that regard Centurion maintains perfect suspension of disbelief. It looks at once of its place and time and thrillingly contemporary, recalling the clear aesthetic voice of Dante Spinotti’s Public Enemies.

Such a terrible pity then, that it’s not very good.

I believe the bones of an excellent story are here in the premise, however somewhere in the journey from page to screen or from film to edit they were lost. Neil Marshall and his team set out to make an epic pursuit movie yet the plot wanders in a meandering figure of eight before it dares cut to that chase. The Centurion hook necessitates an otherwise pointless narration which makes for a schizophrenic viewing experience as your loyalties are tossed from individual to band of brothers and back again. I wonder if the mighty lure of Gladiator money influenced the decision to leave the title singular not plural. Certainly it explains the tacked-on romance. It is a pity because it’s such a waste of a jolly good idea.

For the sake of that idea I do think you should see Centurion. For that reason it is worth it. Do your best to bear with the first third, try not to snigger at the story of Olga Kurylenko’s Etain or flinch from the comedic explicatory dialogue and your commitment will pay off. Beneath the unnecessary hook Neil Marshall has delivered all the elements of an entertaining action adventure. And it almost works.

Did he fear comparison with the brutal simplicity of his previous work? Is that why we have to smash through a Mille-feuille of saccharine cliché and plot device before we break through to the battered and bloodied heart? I hope not. Neil Marshall is an unusual talent with an undeniable skill for delivering a true white knuckle ride. Because this film is not really about a Centurion and it’s not about a wall. It’s about the thrill of battle, the fight for survival, the chase…

Centurion opens in the UK on Friday 23rd April

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:40 pm

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/whats-on-coventry-warwickshire/cinema-film/2010/04/21/film-review-centurion-15-92746-26288411/

Film Review: Centurion (15)

Apr 21 2010

(15, 97 mins) Action. Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, Dominic West, David Morrissey, Noel Clarke, Riz Ahmed, JJ Feild, Liam Cunningham, Ulrich Thomsen, Imogen Poots. Director: Neil Marshall.
Centurion

BRITISH writer-director Neil Marshall appears to have peaked with his riotous 2002 debut, Dog Soldiers, a low-budget horror comedy about a squad of British Army officers under attack from man-sized wolves.

What that film lacked in budgetary muscle it made up for in gore, invention and tongue-in-cheek humour.

His subsequent pictures, The Descent and Doomsday, have remained firmly embedded in the horror genre with an increasing reliance on mindless action to prop up weak scripts.

Marshall's slow and steady decline continues with Centurion, a survival thriller set in 117 AD Britain which was shot on the mountains of Aviemore in the dead of a Scottish winter.

Audiences will have a similarly icy response to the film.

Opening with the image of a half-naked man running, hands bound, across snow-laden hills, Marshall's bloodthirsty B-movie barely pauses for breath for such trivial concerns as character development or historical veracity.

Slow-motion fight sequences and the flashing blades of swords are the director's primary concern, accomplished with a miasma of digitally-rendered blood and guts.

Roman General Titus Virilus (West) leads the legendary Ninth Legion into battle against the savage Picts and their leader Gorlacon (Thomsen).

During the melee, Virilus is taken hostage and most of his loyal men are slain.

Quintus Dias (Fassbender) and a splinter group of sword-wielding warriors including Bothos (Morrissey), Brick (Cunningham), Macros (Clarke), Tarak (Ahmed) and Thax (Feild) survive and they attempt to rescue the general.

15, 97 mins) Action. Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, Dominic West, David Morrissey, Noel Clarke, Riz Ahmed, JJ Feild, Liam Cunningham, Ulrich Thomsen, Imogen Poots. Director: Neil Marshall.

Like the rest of the film, their hastily-conceived rescue mission is a disaster and Virilus passes the mantle to Quintus Dias, barking, "What's left of the Legion is yours to command, now go!"

The Romans flee but legendary Pict tracker, Etain (Kurylenko), quickly has them in her sights and she leads a small party of warriors in hot pursuit.

Sprinting over perilous terrain, Quintus Dias and his comrades cannot shake Etain.

They are gradually whittled down by the Picts, and the stragglers seek shelter with the witch Arianne (Poots) before readying themselves for the final showdown in an abandoned fort.

"If Etain is hunting you, you may as well be dead," professes the witch.

"That's comforting," reply the Romans.

Centurion has the makings of an excellent comedy except everyone involved in the film takes the trek across the mountains very seriously.

Dialogue is limp, the action scenes become repetitive and the cast aren't willing to commit themselves completely to their two-dimensional roles.

Fassbender, who was mesmerizing as Bobby Sands in Hunger, doesn't have to engage his brain at any point to play his emaciated hero.

The romantic subplot with Poots's outcast is rushed, providing Marshall with an unabashedly-cheesy resolution to all of the macho posturing.

Rating * *

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:43 pm

http://theknightshift.blogspot.com/2010/04/chris-finally-files-his-actionfest.html

At 7:30 on Thursday night came the first film of ActionFest: the world premiere of Neil Marshall's Centurion!

Starring Michael Fassbender and featuring a number of fairly familiar faces including Noel Clarke (who played Mickey for the past few years on Doctor Who), Centurion is a grim 'n bloody telling of the tale of the legendary Ninth Legion of Rome, which went missing while trying to civilize ancient Britain. Set in 117 A.D., Centurion focuses on Quintus Dias (Fassbender) who gets captured by the Picts north of Hadrian's Wall, escapes and is then re-assigned to destroy a particularly troublesome bunch of primeval Scottish in retribution. But the Picts don't play nice and the Romans are soon whittled down to seven soldiers from across the breadth of the Empire, now struggling to survive. Hot on their trail is Etain (Olga Kurylenko): a treacherous Terminator-ish tracker who won't stop until her tribe is avenged (and she's also feeling more than a bit pokey after the Romans cut out her tongue).

If you loved HBO's Rome but wanted it to ratchet up the brutality, then Centurion is for you. I imagine this is going to do some handsome business when it opens wide. I enjoyed it tremendously!

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:54 pm

http://fanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/04/centurion.html

Centurion

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, David Morrissey, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko

Directed by: Neil Marshall

Reviewed by: Conor Flynn

3/5

In a way I feel kind of sorry for director Neil Marshall. Not only has he to contend with a rival film (Kevin Mc Donald’s ‘The Eagle of the Ninth’) which depicts a similar storyline to Centurion (something which happened before with his film ‘The Descent’ and its rival ‘The Cave’), but he has also had to battle studio interference. It is reported that Centurion went through numerous cuts until the directors personal cut eventually won out. So, after a slew of headaches, is Neil Marshall’s latest film any good?

The story is based on the Roman myth of the ninth legion which travelled to the North of Scotland only to vanish without a trace. In this film the legion is attacked by the Pict with only a few Romans remaining. During this battle, their General (West) is captured, which leads to a rescue attempt lead by Quintus Dias (Fassbender). Soon the rescue attempt fails and Quintus finds his group pray to the Pict, lead by the vengeful Etain (Kurylenko).

Neil Marshall abandons the hyper stylisation he employed to mediocre success on his last film ‘Doomsday’ in favour of down and dirty grit for his latest feature. Though Centurion may at first seem like a recap of ‘Doomsday,’ in ways the film is more of a throw back to the directors enjoyable debut feature ‘Dog Soldiers;’ with a band of soldiers fending off a superior ferial force. Thankfully, unlike ‘Doomsday,’ there is a lot less pilfering of better films going on, that said, the grimy visuals certainly owe a lot to the opening sequence to the film ‘Gladiator’. Centurion can be compared to survivalist films such as ‘First Blood’ though no where near on par.

Sadly the cast is wasted amongst the action, which is a shame considering the long list of reliable British and Irish actors included. Michael Fassbender looks lean and mean for the part, but bar a few scenes of banal love interest for Quintus, Fassbender isn’t given much to do character wise. Dominic West manages to supply the film with some weight despite his early departure. Unfortunately the talents of Liam Cunningham, David Morrissey, Riz Ahmed, J. J. Field and Noel Clarke are given little to do. The only actor to have anything to play with is Olga Kurylenko who excels with primal ferocity as Etain.

Centurion is passable entertainment. No doubt you’ll have seen it done before and better in other films, which makes this a fine, if forgettable distraction.
Posted by Conor Flynn at 11:21 AM

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:13 pm

http://www.contactmusic.com/new/film.nsf/reviews/centurion

Centurion Review
Good 3.5/5

Rating: 15
2010
Cast & Crew

Director : Neil Marshall

Producer : Christian Colson, Robert Jones

Screenwriter : Neil Marshall

Starring : Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, David Morrissey, Noel Clarke, Riz Ahmed, JJ Field, Liam Cunningham Imogen Poots, Ulrich Thomsen, Dave Legeno

With a raucous, gruesome tone, this Roman-era British action movie takes us back in time in such a vivid way that we often feel a bit queasy while watching. If the story were stronger, we'd be glued to the screen.

Quintus Dias (Fassbender) seems to be an unusually lucky centurion. Stationed in the nastiest outpost on the edge of the Roman Empire in Britain, he's the only survivor of a Pict attack by the vindictive Gorlacon (Thomsen). So he teams with General Virilus (West) and heads back into the hot zone. Again, the Picts launch a devastating attack. This time seven Romans survive, and it becomes a cat-and-mouse chase as mute huntress Etain (Kurylenko) tenaciously tracks Quintus and company across the Highlands. Can they make it back to safety in the south?

The film's contained narrative makes it very watchable, as writer-director Marshall avoids overarching themes for unruly battles and gritty violence.
Although this creates a problem in that the film seems to grind to a halt in between the action scenes, with lots of grunting banter as well as a hesitant romantic sideroad as the survivors encounter a friendly outcast (Poots) who's improbably gorgeous even with a big scar on her face.

Furthering the implausibility factor is the politically correct diversity of the Romans, which includes an African (Clarke), a central Asian (Ahmed) and a range of hotheads, comedians, tough guys and traitors. Marshall gets away with this simply because the actors are all seriously gifted, creating watchable characters we really root for as their lives are put in jeopardy again and again. And as always, Fassbender holds the film together almost effortlessly.

Marshall is very good at creating pounding suspense and refusing to shy away from real grisliness. The battles are invested with an almost crazed brutality that feels genuinely terrifying and perhaps more realistic that what we usually see in these kinds of movies. He also drenches the film in filth: mud, blood, spit, half-digested food and various bodily fluids abound. This is colourful, lurid filmmaking that threatens to wear us out with its relentless nastiness.
So if the human story at the centre feels a little dry in comparison, at least it adds some meaning.

Review by Rich Cline

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:23 pm

http://www.islingtontribune.com/reviews/cinema/2010/apr/cinema-review-michael-fassbender-centurion

Cinema - Review: Michael Fassbender in Centurion

Published: 22 April 2010
by DAN CARRIER

DID they speak Scouse in Roman times? I only ask as one of the leading soldiers in this sword-fighting flick seemed to have a strong hint of a Mersey drawl as he discussed the best way to fight off the threat of the savage Picts.

And it is minor gripes like this that undermine a rather grim war film.

Director Neil Marshall made the well-received Dog Soldiers and this has some similarities.

Essentially, the same happens here, just 2,000 years earlier. It is the height of the Roman empire, with the lands stretching from Egypt to Britain. Except all is not rosy because, like Asterix, the fierce lot north of the border are refusing to take advantage of the aqueducts, roads, baths, and all those other ­mod-con’s those under Caesar’s yoke enjoy and instead like to hack off Roman heads at any opportunity.

We meet Quintus (Michael Fassbender) who luckily survived a massacre at a poorly defended fort. He is recruited to head north with a centurion to hunt down and fight the Picts. But they are ambushed and their leader Gorlacon and their general Virilus are taken prisoner. Quintus sets out on a mission to rescue his general and then trek safely back to civilisation while a bunch of bloodthirsty marauders hunt for them.

The cutting-off of heads and stabbings through various fleshy parts look pretty real and make uncomfortable viewing, and while it shows a care and quality, it is hardly a saving grace.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:44 pm

http://keirropercaldbeck.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/dont-fk-with-the-ninth/

Keir Roper-Caldbeck

Don’t F**k with the Ninth
April 22, 2010

As the volcanic ash crisis slowly comes to a conclusion and the voices of hindsight weigh in with their opinions, it falls to me to mourn the fact that it didn’t arrive earlier, if only for purely cinematic reasons. I don’t know if the dust cloud has grounded helicopters, but if it has, it would have performed a great service if it had arrived during the filming of Neil Marshall’s Centurion. For the director, who brought us the claustrophobic shocks of The Descent, proves unfortunately enamoured of the sweeping helicopter shot now that he has been released into the open air. In his tale of Roman legionaries on the run in the wilds of Scotland, Marshall seems on a mission to make a film which will delight the Scottish Tourist Board – by cramming as much of the Highlands into the frame as possible – but disappoint the audience. The aerial shot, when used sparingly, can be a powerful device. But it is also an alienating one, withdrawing us from a human perspective, and is best used only when the basics of story-telling have been attended too. This is something that Marshall fails to do in Centurion, leaving us unmoved as we repeatedly swoop over his band of Benetton legionaries – ethnically diverse but barely distinguishable – who are being pursued across generic Highland scenes by blue-painted Picts mounted on horses which, even at a full gallop, seem mysteriously unable to gain on a running man.

This is a shame as the myth of the disappearance of the Ninth Legion in Scotland – the springboard for the film’s story – is one that really fires the imagination, giving us a sense of our own country as a dark and forbidding wilderness. A director like Werner Herzog would have emphasised the isolation of the legionaries in this hostile environment, using it to strip away the usual distractions of the period film in order to transport us into the minds of men separated from us by two thousand years. Instead, Centurion, with its references to a “new kind of war, a war without armour and without end”, heavy-handedly hints at contemporary parallels with Afghanistan and Iraq, and sets itself up as Bravo Two Zero in a toga. In the midst of this Michael Fassbender bravely tries to keep our attention with an effective performance whilst Dominic West adopts that barking half-shout that actors employ when called upon to hold a sword and wear a skirt. His straining vocal chords may be less the result of his discomfit with his primitive underwear as it is with dialogue which lurches from macho anachronisms (“When will they learn not to f&#! with the Ninth?”) to cod classicisms (“To kill a snake you have to cut off its head” – well, yes, I guess that would do it). Try underplaying lines like these. Olga Kurylenko, as the beautiful but demonic Etain, has the inestimable advantage of playing a character who has had her tongue cut out and is thus excused from speaking. Instead, during the many sword fights she expresses herself through grunts worthy of a Wimbledon champion.

If I’m being unduly harsh on the film it is because I was doubly disappointed. Firstly, because I enjoyed Marshall’s first two films, Dog Soldiers and The Descent, so much. Secondly, because I’m always excited to see Scotland on film, for the chance to see our familiar landscapes re-imagined by great story-tellers. Sadly, in Centurion this is something that Marshall has failed to do. Luckily, this year there are a couple more chances for me to fulfil this desire. Like the proverbial bus, a second film about the Ninth Legion, The Eagle of the Ninth, will rumble into view in September. Directed by Kevin MacDonald and based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s wonderful book of the same name, this should be an entertaining example of classical story-telling. More of a wild card will be the Danish-Scottish production of Valhalla Rising, with Vikings tramping across Scotland (standing in for pre-Columbus America) convinced they have reached the after-life. Filmed in the documentary, ecstatic tradition of Herzog’s Aguirre this could be the film to alter our view of the Scottish landscape permanently.
Posted by keirropercaldbeck

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:54 pm

http://www.emotionallyfourteen.com/2010/04/centurion.html

Thursday, 22 April 2010
Centurion
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, Dominic West
Director: Neil Marshall
Warner Brothers
In Cinemas From 23 April
Review by Blake Harmer

Neil Marshall has always been about two things when it comes to making movies: gripping death scenes and funny one-liners, and whilst he hasn’t been able to top his debut feature length movie Dog Soldiers, Marshall has always delivered strong, if not groundbreaking, movies. So I went in with high hopes for his most recent action movie centurion, but can Romans cutting Picts into bread outdo Soldiers versus werewolves?

The plot of Centurion centres around Quintus (Michael Fassbender), the sole survivor of a savage raid on a Roman frontier fort, joining General Virilus’ (Dominic West (300, Punisher: Warzone, & Star Wars - Episode I: The Phantom Menace as a palace guard)) legendary ninth legion to march north and eradicate the terrifying tribe known as the Picts. However, when the legion is practically wiped out and Virilus captured, Quintus and a small band of soldiers must struggle to survive behind enemy lines, but will they save their general, evade capture and make it back to the Roman frontier?

As is with Marshall’s other films, the film has some excellent fight scenes and some very gory deaths including axes imbedded in skulls or spears impaling people with lots of blood spewing out, and whilst the deaths aren’t flashy or stylish, the brutal way weapons dig into flesh and heads cave in is almost guaranteed to make you wince a couple of times throughout the film, and this style of violence is very similar to his other films such as The Descent or Doomsday. The film also keeps to Marshall’s strengths by having some very strong lines amongst the banter you hear from the soldiers throughout the film. Special mention should also go to the fact that the film hardly uses any computer-generated special effects, which is really good to see in an age where green screen and CG effects are the norm.

However, Centurion is far from a perfect action film. Some of the characters that form Quintus’ band of soldiers after the ninth legion is destroyed could have benefited from a bit more character development rather than just a single campfire scene where they introduce each other. Sadly, this meant I didn’t really care whether they lived or died aside from Quintus - the central protagonist. I also felt that the plot whilst enjoyable, was a little unoriginal in places, especially as the premise of them trying to get back to the Roman frontier from behind enemy lines felt like a Roman version of The Warriors.
Finally, I felt that some parts of the film, especially towards the end felt a little bit rushed as though they spent too much time in the middle of the film. However, these flaws are pretty minor for what is essentially a fun and entertaining action film filled with good set pieces, gory death scenes, and cool one liners, and that is what an E14 film should be.

So to answer my original question, has Neil Marshall been able to break the mould and deliver a film more entertaining than Dog Soldiers? Sadly, the answer is no, and the films biggest flaw is that, in comparison to his other works and action films in general, Centurion doesn’t really offer anything new and fresh to the action genre. But if you want to see an enjoyable action fest filled with gory death scenes, Centurion gladly steps up to the table and dishes out just that.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Violence: Lots of gore and cool death scenes throughout, just what Neil Marshall does best in his films.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: Swear words used to great effect to create some brilliant one-liners.
Summary: An enjoyable action film with lots of gore and swearing to keep the majority of the Emotionally Fourteen happy, and whilst the plot may not be the most original, Marshall has stuck to what he does best, and delivered a thoroughly entertaining film filled with gory action and great one-liners. Go watch it if you are an action fan or a big fan of Neil Marshall’s previous films, just don’t expect it to be vastly different from anything else he has done before. 8/10
Posted by Brad Harmer at 10:00

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:04 pm

http://slashingtheseats.net/2010/04/22/centurion/

Centurion

Time to welcome Neil Marshall back from the post-apocalyptic hinterlands of Scotland for his latest, a…erm…post-apocalyptic* adventure set in Scotland…

Looking back on his work, it’s clear that Neil has an affection for genre pics – nowt wrong with that. Dog Soldiers set up a small group of hard nuts against Werewolves. Descent set up a group of soon-to-be hardnuts against..whatever that weird Morlocky thing was. Doomsday set up..well, you get the idea, and while it doesn’t quite reach the absurd brilliance of his earlier take on lycanthropy, Marshall’s look at ancient British history is still a grab bag of gory fun with a certain swaggering charm.

It’s the 2nd century, and the chaps in Rome are a mite pissed off with a bunch of hairy Scots ner-do-wells wandering about and beating the crap out of various border patrols. Time for a spot of overkill thinks emperor Hadrian.

Hey, what else can is he supposed to do? It’s not like he can build a wall along the entire side of the country is it?

Enter the Ninth Legion, a bunch of crack leather-skirted lunatics taking time out from chopping up Visigoths. Unfortunately their overconfidence proves ill-founded, as fierce Pict Etain (Kurylenko) takes out most of the legion before embarking on a gory chase movie for the next two acts.

Plus points first then: Clearly the director’s penchant for filming in Caledonian woodland is bearing bitter fruit – the cinematography here is fantastic (Marshall’s penchant for over-using the blue filter aside). Mist soaked woodlands come across as beautifully primal and eerie, the landscape displaying a rugged, terrifying charm that The Lord of the Rings would have been proud of. Lead Roman Michael Fassbinder and his surviving men have a whale of a time plunging through the deep forests and scrambling up shale covered hillsides in their bid for escape, the landscape itself one of the most formidable opponents on display.

Unfortunately Etain and her fellow Picts just don’t compare.

The action is all-out, frantic chases across a terrifying landscape, but it’s too break-neck, with little time for character development as one faceless legionnaire after another is despatched by a variety of interchangeable blue-faced Pictish loonies. Meanwhile Kurylenko’s character is mute, meaning her already limited emoting time is reduced to a montage of angry scowls. The Picts have a genuine grievance against the Roman invaders, so it’s a shame that both sides of the story aren’t aired in a more effective fashion – if they were, this could be something quite special, rather than the effective but somewhat run of the mill shocker we’ve ended up with.

But hey, it’s an action flick with added swords and sandals, and when it does succeed, it’s great. Dominic West stands out as slightly deranged, scenery-chewing general Virilus, and while Fassbinder struggles to convince in his five minute encounter with a token luverly lady, he scowls, growls and punches his way through the often electrifying action sequences in fine style, proving himself as a major action star in the making.

Overall this is good, but not great, and while it’s a shame that some of the missed opportunities stand out so clearly on screen, what remains is a brutal romp that will go down a treat on DVD with a few beers and a pizza.

*OK, OK, it was the apocalypse as far as the Roman Empire was concerned, so I say it still counts. It’s my f**king blog ok?

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:12 pm

http://www.screen-one.com/review/centurion-review

Centurion Review
Submitted by dreddcucumber on Thu, 04/22/2010 - 10:06.

Centurion

After the frankly disappointing Doomsday, Neil Marshall returns with Centurion a film centrered around the story of the mysterious 9th Legion that marched north of Hadrian's Wall and never returned. This is Neil Marshall's idea of what happened and is very similar in tone to both Descent, Dog Soldiers and Doomsday. It's another movie where our heroes are up against the odds of not only nature, but a relentless enemy that will stop at nothing to destroy them. The enemy in question is the Picts. A ferocious band of Celts led by the mute Olga Kurylenko who is the woad covered tracker who chases a group of the 9th Legion back out of the north, trying to make sure they never reach their destination.

As this is a Neil Marshall film, there are pleasing amounts of gore, hacked of limbs, disembowelments and all the other staples you would expect from Mr Marshall. Unfortunately the story sometimes gets forgotten while the deaths and maimings get more creative. The cast though and what an interesting cast it is too Noel Clarke (Street style Roman) and Riz Ahmed (Asian Roman)along with the enigmatic Michael Fassbender, make sure this is never a run of the mill pursuit movie. Although at times you do wonder if Noel Clarke will threaten to 'shank' someone.

The scenery is harsh and foreboding and when we do get a break from the violence, the setting in the dank woods still keep you on edge, keeping you on the edge of your seat praying that there's not about to be a spear out of nowhere to slam into someone's head. The brief love story that is intimated late on does seem a bit strange and even a bit bolted on, but still the level of acting going on from the entire cast carry's all the quirks through. The direction is assured and the tone throughout is fairly even. If there is any complaint it would be that, that there is not enough of Domonic West and Noel Clarke, although that would have ended up with too many cast members left at the end.

Once the set up is doen away with and we get into the chase part of the film, things really pick up. In places it's pretty tense as you wonder if they will make it and/or whose next for a grisily end. Also the brief running time (97 Minutes), make sure that things never get dull or slow down. All in all a solid effort from Neil Marshall, not his best film, but not far off.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:23 pm

http://www.screengeek.co.uk/reviews/article/centurion

ScreenGeek » Reviews » Posted 22nd April 2010, 3:44pm
Centurion
Overlong and poorly edited, the beautiful scenery compensates, as does the sharp, bleached photography.
23rd April 2010 in David Morrissey, Michael Fassbender, Noel Clarke, Neil Marshall, Centurion, Front Featured, Reviews / By Becky Reed / Rating: 2/5

Director Neil Marshall arrived in a blaze of glory with his first two features; the gritty and gory Dog Soldiers, a celebration of brotherhood in the face of werewolves, and The Descent, a claustrophobic caving nightmare relying on strong cliche-free female leads. Both were fantastically original British horrors, and then it all went horribly, horribly wrong with Doomsday. Marshall's apocalyptic nightmare was ugly, messy and ultimately boring, showing none of the strength of character or story development of his previous work.

Two years later, Marshall is back, not with a horror, but a historical epic - he's telling us the little-known story of the Roman Ninth Legion. It's AD 117, and the Roman Empire's dominion over Europe has come to a halt in northern England at the hands of the brutal native Picts. Michael Fassbender is Quintus Dias, the survivor of a bloody raid on a Roman fort. He leads a battered team of Roman soldiers, including Noel Clarke's Macros and David Morrissey's Bothos, to rescue the captured General Virilus (Dominic West).

They are aided by a mute Pict traitor in the form of former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko. Supposedly a fearsome warrior, the pouting Etain unfortunately looks like something from America's Next Top Model, but the miscast Kurylenko handles her fight scenes admirably. The only other woman in this battle-torn flick is Arian (Imogen Poots), a misunderstood earth mother required to look doe-eyed at a sweaty Fassbender.

Centurion is the legion's weary journey, facing battle after battle, and there are only so many ways you can show a man getting dispatched before it just becomes bloodthirsty. You know those awesomely shot war scenes at the beginning of Gladiator? It's that, ad nauseam; the pint-sized legion face many one-on-one fights, all ending with increasingly gruesome killings. It's staggering that a film that contains Fassbender, Morrissey, West and Liam Cunningham can't muster a memorable performance.

Overlong and poorly edited, the beautiful scenery compensates - as does the sharp, bleached photography - and moments of treachery liven up the plot. Marshall remains one not to go for the easy ending, to his credit, but this is almost as disappointing as Doomsday.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:53 pm

http://www.i-flicks.net/reviews/cinema/1288-centurion

Centurion
Written by Ivan Radford
Friday, 23 April 2010 13:12

Director: Neil Marshall
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, David Morrisey, Liam Cunningham, Noel Clarke, Riz Ahmed
Certificate: 15

Scotland's tourist board must love Neil Marshall. Eight years ago he butchered a group of men in the Highland woods with werewolves. Then a bunch of cave monsters tore some women to shreds in the Scottish mountains. And now, fascinated with Hadrian's Wall, he's back again in Scottish territory to butcher another group of men. But this time it's different: they're Romans.

Centurion focuses on the fate of the Ninth Legion - who, according to legend, disappeared without a trace in 117 AD. Filling the historical gap with blood, swords and more blood, Marshall's imaginings see Quintus Dias (Fassbender) survive a raid by a savage native tribe called the Picts. He then joins with the Ninth Legion to march north and wipe out the resistance. But as they travel through unfamiliar woods, the Picts wipe out the troops, taking General Virilius (West) as their prisoner. Quintus soon finds himself in a small band of survivors, determined to free the General and make it out from enemy lines alive.

With the silent and deadly tracker Etain (Kurylenko) on their heels, Centurion''s pretty much your standard chase film - there's barely a moment when people aren't running somewhere. Pausing briefly for an introductory fireside chat, Marshall's camera steamrolls through Scottish landscapes, throwing arrows, spears, axes and knives at his resilient bunch of macho warriors.

And the blokes acquit themselves well: the charismatic Dominic West is a boisterous contrast to Fassbender's steely hero, while the youngsters Clarke and Ahmed get enough screentime to claim as their own; Marshall veteran Liam Cunningham is a reliable grizzly presence; and it's a pleasure to see David Morrisey offered this kind of role for a change. What are the soldiers' names? You won't remember. But that's not really the point.

Staying fairly faithful to period weapons and clothing (woad is a must for their fictitious hunters), the production is packed full of old-school prosthetics, live-action stunts and low-budget scraps. With less money to play with, Marshall follows his mediocre Doomsday with grit and fervour. It's a 90 minute dash to the bloody finish, but it feels closer to an hour.

It's clearly influenced by Gladiator and its successors, but this historical epic sticks to the small scale, happy to replace Roman sand with Scottish mud. And yet it's still not without spectacle - the Picts' early fiery ambush is a stunning little sequence. An attempt at a romantic subplot is a bum note, but the rest of Centurion is bum-clenchingly tense.

VERDICT

Sacrificing character for action, Centurion is a British B-Movie with balls. Shallow, speedy, exciting stuff.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:50 pm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/apr/22/centurion-review


Centurion

Michael Fassbender in an energetic, relentless Roman epic. By Xan Brooks
2 out of 5

Xan Brooks
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 22 April 2010 23.25 BST

Full marks to director Neil Marshall, who gave us Dog Soldiers and The Descent, for putting the corpulent Roman epic on a crash diet; it's just a shame his rationing extended to the plot and characters too. Centurion is basically a succession of chase sequences, lean and sinewy, as Michael Fassbender's resolute commander leads a dirty half-dozen of survivors on a fraught dash through northern Britain, with the Picts in close pursuit. Along the way, Marshall pauses briefly to take in the sights. There are eye-gougings and amputations and a skimpy romantic sub-plot, all but concealed behind the desaturated geysers of blood. In its hell-for-leather fashion this works just fine, though there is something dogged – even joyless – about the way it sets about its task. This is exercise-bike cinema: energetic, relentless and tipping towards monotony.

1. Centurion
2. Production year: 2010
3. Country: UK
4. Cert (UK): 15
5. Runtime: 97 mins
6. Directors: Neil Marshall
7. Cast: David Morrissey, Dominic West, Michael Fassbender, Noel Clarke, Olga Kurylenko
8. More on this film

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:42 am

http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/the-ticket/2010/04/film-review-centurion.html

Film review: Centurion
By David Edwards on Apr 23, 10 12:00 AM in Film

Centurion-23.04.10.jpg

Cert 15, 97mins 3/5

After Dog Soldiers and The Descent, director Neil Marshall was talked of as the great white hope of British horror. Then, two years ago, he gave us the simply unspeakable Doomsday, a future thriller that could give Battlefield Earth a run for its money in the duff movie stakes. In short, Marshall has an awful lot of making up to do.

This time, he turns his attention to a legion of Roman soldiers who find themselves stranded in Scotland after being attacked by the local Picts, headed by the mute Etain (Bond girl Olga Kurylenko). Bloodied and bruised, the legion (including Michael Fassbender, Noel Clarke and The Wire's Dominic West) must traipse through forest and glen to reach the English border.

As with so many British movies, Centurion begins well before, like the soldiers themselves, heading south. While there's a terrific battle near the start as the Romans are ambushed by the locals, the realisation soon dawns that this is a deeply average chase movie.

Better than Doomsday, mind you.

THE REAL LOWDOWN

IF YOU LIKED...King Arthur, 300... YOU'LL LIKE THIS.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:45 am

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/theticket/2010/0423/1224268923067.html

The Irish Times - Friday, April 23, 2010
Manly men in Roman Britain
Michael Fassbender: believable as a warrior you'd follow into battle

JOE GRIFFIN

CENTURION
Directed by Neil Marshall. Starring Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, David Morrissey, Noel Clarke and Liam Cunningham. General release, 15a, 97 minutes

FRIENDS, ROMANS, countrymen, brace thyselves for the manliest film of the season. Aye, for Centurion is not only armed with Romans fighting Picts, but also with some of the manliest dialogue this side of WWF. “Her soul is an empty vessel,” one soldier says of the villainess, “and only Roman blood can fill it.”

The first manly man we meet is Quintus Dias (Fassbender), a Roman stationed in northern Britain in the second century and promptly taken captive by Picts. He eventually escapes and finds solace with the Ninth Legion. Led by the volatile, but magnificently named Virilus (Dominic West), Quintus joins the soldiers and their mute Pict tracker Etain (Kurylenko) in a campaign.

To the surprise of her employers, but not the audience, Etain betrays the Romans and an army of Picts slaughters most of the legion, taking Virilus hostage and leaving Quintus to lead the handful of survivors. Pursued by Etain, Quintus and co are hunted through the harsh landscape.

In the decade or so since Gladiator unleashed hell, we’re still waiting for an equally stirring swords and sandals film. While Centurion lacks the panache of Ridley Scott’s epic, it’s certainly more fun than, say, Kingdom of Heaven or Alexander . Indeed, as directed by Neil Marshall ( The Descent ), Centurion would have more in common with action movies such as Predator or Behind Enemy Lines. The limb-lopping fight scenes, meanwhile, echo Monty Python and the Holy Grail .

Despite its classy cast, little is expected of the actors beyond a strong presence, and as demonstrated in Hunger and Inglourious Basterds , Fassbender has that in spades. He’s believable as a warrior you’d follow into battle, though he’s also saddled with a terribly superfluous voiceover. Bereft of a meaty plot, Centurion doesn’t deliver much historical drama or intrigue, but provides muddy, bloody action scenes and a simple, effective narrative.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:46 am

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1268197/Centurion-Life-toga-party-Romans-gloamin.html

Centurion: Life is no toga party for these Romans in the gloamin'

By Chris Tookey
Last updated at 12:54 AM on 23rd April 2010

Centurion (15)

Verdict: Gory sword and sandals saga

Rating: Rating: 1 out of 5

Centurion is the latest gorefest from Neil Marshall, but nowhere near as gripping or entertaining as his Dog Soldiers or The Descent.

The talented Michael Fassbender is wasted as a shouty centurion whose job is to lead his few surviving legionaries out of Pictish territory after - in the film's one impressive action sequence - virtually the entire Ninth Legion has been massacred.
Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), Brick (Liam Cunningham)

Shouty: Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) and Brick (Liam Cunningham) in the gory British film Centurion

Centurion is a curious mixture of Gladiator, Braveheart and Apocalypto, but not nearly as good as any of them. The problem lies with the script, which is ponderous, laughably pompous, tiresomely macho and essentially one long chase.

Though numerous helicopter shots show off the grandeur of the Scottish landscape, the film is mainly an excuse for as many decapitations, mutilations and impalings as possible.

While these may be enough for fanboys who demand only action and violence, it won't satisfy those of us who hope for story, characterisation and emotional involvement in our entertainment.

A talented cast - including Dominic West, Liam Cunningham, J.J. Feild and David Morrissey - have little to do except pose in a manly fashion, run and die. It isn't nearly enough.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:49 am

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/centurion--15-1951422.html
Centurion (15)

(Rated 1/ 5 )

Reviewed by Robert Hanks

Friday, 23 April 2010

Roman Britain, the second-century AD: the Ninth Legion marches north under its fearless commander Dominic West, only to be massacred by Picts.

The few survivors struggle back to the border, led by centurion Michael Fassbender, and hunted by sexy Pictish warrior-maiden Olga Kurylenko, who seems to be out to prove that you can make an entire film career without changing your facial expression once. Clichéd.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:52 am

http://garethnaughton.blogspot.com/2010/04/centurion.html

Friday, April 23, 2010
Centurion

Neil Marshall loves a good beheading. This much you will learn from sitting through about 50 such deaths - one of them particularly gruesome - in this action film. All that blood and guts, however, cannot hide the fact that barring a couple of intense action sequences, Centurion is something of a damp squib.

Set in the first century, Centurion is Marshall’s take on the story of the Ninth Legion - a Roman brigade of 4,000 men who, according to legend, marched into Scotland from Hadrian’s Wall and promptly disappeared. In Marshall’s version of the story, the Ninth are massacred by the Picts - a race of quite ugly and feral people who weren’t big on diplomacy.

Michael Fassbender stars as one of seven survivors of this massacre - Quintas Dias - who must make their way back to Roman territory while being hunted down by a Pict tracker called Etain (Olga Kurylenko). She likes nothing more than killing the sons of Rome having had her tongue cut out after being forced to watch her mother raped and her father murdered during a previous Roman invasion attempt.

Centurion’s main problem is that quite a lot of the action takes place at the start and it takes absolutely ages for anything remotely interesting to happen. If you enjoy watching seven lads of varying ages run cross country and spouting nonsense about dying for Rome, this is the movie for you. It’s really quite boring for a considerable period of time. There’s also a ludicrous romantic subplot that makes no sense whatsoever.

Fassbender makes a commendable effort at delivering his lines without breaking into laughter but he’s no Russell Crowe when it comes to believable Roman soldiers. There’s good support there from David Morrisey and Noel Clarke and Kurylenko does steely determination very well as the mute Etain.

Marshall is a director with real promise - The Descent can validly lay claim to being one of the best horrors of the last decade - but Centurion is a step backwards. As writer-director he has no-one else to blame for the script which features some very ripe dialogue and the lack of action sequences through the drawn out second act. To be fair though those action sequences that do take place are excellent. It’s just a pity that they are so few and far between.

A poor effort from a director and cast who are capable of much, much better.

Stars: **
Posted by Gareth Naughton at 4:55 AM

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:06 am

http://www.genreaddict.com/news/a-ton-of-images-from-centurion


18 Apr
Posted by
Darren

A Ton of Images From ‘Centurion’

Olga Kurylenko looking cool as Etain in 'Centurion' (click to enlarge)

The trailers and clips to Neil Marshall’s Roman soldier epic Centurion have been received with mixed reviews, but I for one like the look of it.

The film takes place in Britain, A.D. 117, and follows Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender) after he marches north with General Virilus’ legendary Ninth Legion, under orders to wipe the Picts from the face of the Earth and destroy their leader, Gorlacon. It soon turns out that the hunters become the hunted, as it should.

Around 70 hi-res images have been released to promote the film. No, I’m not posting them all here because a) I’m lazy and b) the good people at Hey U Guys have already gone to a lot of effort to do it first. If you want to see all the pics, go there.

If you missed it you can watch the Centurion trailer here or watch a clip from Centurion here.

Centurion hits theaters in the US on August 27. UK fans can catch it April 23, 2010.

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:45 pm

http://www.nme.com/movies/reviews/movie-review-centurion/11244

Movie Review: Centurion

Neil Marshall's Roman adventure feels like a computer game from 2035

* April 23, 2010

Centurion
Cert: 15, 97 mins
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Dominic West, Noel Clarke, Olga Kurylenko

What would ancient Rome have been like if everyone talked a little bit more like a mockney geezer than you might expect? That question, and others, is answered in Centurion, Neil Marshall's historical halfway-house between the graphic videogame violence of 300, and the regular violence of, you know, death that actually involves humans and hurts quite a lot.

The overall effect - as this tale of the disappearance of the Ninth Legion in Britain shows - is one of a videogame from 2035 that someone else is playing for you.

The dialogue won't be that much better (sample line: "Two years on the frontier - this is truly the asshole of the world"). And the plot will still be pretty basic - this is the simply the tale of a rag-tag bunch of Roman soldiers (among them The Wire's Dominic West, Michael Fassbender and Noel Clarke) who are fighting the savages in Scotland, find themselves the only ones left after a slaughter of their legion, and have to try to get home before the Scots (Quantum of Solace's Olga Kurylenko among them) catch up.

But boy will it look good - all sweeping Scottish scenery and lush snow-topped mountain ranges. It'll almost look real. Alas, they still won't put too much work into the characters, so you still won't really be bothered about who lives or dies, but on the other hand, the violence will really be full-on.

The latter is perhaps least surprising, considering this is the director of Dog Soldiers and Doomsday, but Marshall seems to have distilled violence down to such an art that not only does it not really feel violent any more (though to be fair, Tarantino was the one to get us on this track: violence that knows everything about spectacle but nothing about suffering), but it's not even that exciting either.

One notable fight scene sees Marshall dispense almost entirely with the idea of swords clashing, or spears missing, or arrows hitting shields. I guess we're meant to assume that's happening too, but Marhsall's not interested in it: we only see heads being crushed, spearing plunging deep, swords cleanly slicing limbs, and blood spurting out with vigour, the way the cinematographer would have wanted it.

It makes it all look like a rather fun - if easy - game. But I think I'll wait for the console to play it on.

Stuart McGurk

3 out of 10

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Re: Reviews and SPOILERS

Post by Admin on Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:54 pm

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/film/review-23827677-beauty-and-some-beasts-in-centurion.do

Centurion
Cert: 15

Dir: Neil Marshall. Cast: Dominic West, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Fassbender, David Morrissey, Noel Clarke

Description: Roman General Virilus leads his loyal men into battle against the savage Picts in 2nd-century northern Britain, only to be slain along with most of his legion. Quintus Dias and a splinter group of sword-wielding warriors survive the onslaught and attempt to flee the slaughter, only to be hunted down by a group of Picts led by the legendary tracker, Etain.
Country: UK. 2010. 97mins

Beauty and some beasts in Centurion
By Derek Malcolm, Evening Standard 23.04.10
More reviews by Derek Malcolm

Warrior woman: vengeful Pict leader Olga Kurylenko

The legend of the 9th Roman Legion, lost for ever in Caledonia around AD 117, has been the subject of half a dozen stupid movies. Neil Marshall’s take on the apparent disaster has the Picts to blame, playing the guerrilla game rather better than the Taliban. Michael Fassbender is Quintus Dias, leading three other survivors (Dominic West, Liam Cunningham and David Morrissey) back to the border where they are building Hadrian’s Wall. Meanwhile, the Picts are led by Olga Kurylenko’s mute but beautiful warrior, bent on revenging Roman atrocities. “I don’t know whether to fight or **** her,” says one of the Roman officers — and that’s the trouble. The screenplay is often giggleworthy.

Centurion makes a decently mounted action movie in which only the uniforms and weaponry differentiate it from Iraq or Afghanistan. Maybe that’s the point of it. But you still have to pen a script.
(you can go to this site and vote without signing in. It appears that readers enjoyed the film more than the writer)

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