Film Review: Centurion

I’m surprised Centurion wasn’t developed as a miniseries. Set in 117 A.D. as Roman soldiers attempt to overthrow the Picts in northern Britain, Neil Marshall’s film tells what could have been an 8-hour story in just over 90 minutes. After quick introductions to the characters, a surprise ambush by the Picts leaves nearly every Roman soldier dead. Seven manage to escape – one of whom is our narrator, a Centurion named Quintus (Michael Fassbender). After an attempt to save their captured General Titus (Dominic West) goes wrong, the men spend the remainder of the film being pursued the relentless Picts, who are led by a mute female warrior, Etain, who is seeking revenge on the Romans who killed her family and ripped out her tongue. These characters would have been right at home in a longer, more thoughtful historical epic, but Neil Marshall (The Descent) has created a quick, thrilling, and ultra-violent game of hide and seek that serves them well. [Read more…]