Centurion is a historical action movie which sees an elite group of Roman soldiers up ordered to destroy the Picts who are hampering the Roman’s conquest of Britain.
After much of the legion is slaughtered in an electrifying ambush sequence, the survivors press on with their mission, along the way killing the Pict King’s son. Inevitably this prompts him to declare a blood oath against the Romans and he and his followers then hunt them down and slowly whittle down their numbers.
This is a decent enough action film – the fight sequences are fantastically choreographed with enough gore and energy to please even the most demanding of action fans and the costumes feel lavish and credible but the plot is fairly routine and the very modern dialogue is littered with cliches which make it hard to take the film seriously.
In one of the less believable sections of the films, the surviving Romans encounter a female Pictish outcast who nurses and feeds them while telling the pursuing Pictish army she’s never seen them. Ho-hum, we’ve seen the same basic scene a thousand times before in just about every genre which allows one person or group to chase another.
During their refuge with the woman, one of the Romans clearly falls for her and, at the end of the film, returns to live a life of domestic bliss with her despite her home being a short ride form the Pict heartlands and he being the sole surviving target of the Pictish King’s fury. Suspension of disbelief will only cover so much and mine gave up long before this point.
The film runs 97 minutes but I swear it felt at least twice as long, I left the mid-afternoon screening fully expecting night to have arrived while we were inside.
The Centurion hits cinemas on April 23rd