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Movie Review: The Last Legion

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I hadn't heard much about The Last Legion. But what I had heard was that it wasn't particularly good — it doesn't follow any true historical events and the action was rather inactive. Now, I certainly wouldn't call myself a history major (I'll leave that to my brother), so the possibility of that ruining my experience is nil. The battle sequences and sword fighting, on the other hand, is most definitely a deal breaker. I simply had to find out if the movie is that bad and here is what I discovered…

They were right. The two previously mentioned facets are glaring but there are several others that could have been called out as well. Let's walk through them, shall we?

  1. Weak, unoriginal plot. You'll see what I mean at the end of the plot description. The Last Legion takes place during the decline of the Roman empire. For Rome to rise to power again, the latest Caesar, Romulus Augustus (Thomas Sangster) must hope to find the sword that gives great power to the rightful wielder of it. To aid him he has Aurelius (Colin Firth), the captain of the guards, his spiritual aide Ambrosinus (Ben Kingsley), and Mira (Aishwarya Rai), an Indian woman warrior. Together they journey to gather the forces of the Ninth Legion stationed in an outward post in Britannia to reclaim Rome and reunite her peoples. If you said this sounds a bit like the Arthurian legend with a Roman theme, you'd be right! And unless you watch the entire movie, you won't know how right you are!
  2. Atrocious battle scenes. I've seen some poorly choreographed fight scenes in my day, but The Last Legion gives some of them a tight race. There’s nothing like watching one fighter duck well before the other combatant swings his weapon. And if I see any more of those moments where fighters have the time to hug or lovingly gaze in one another's eyes across a chaotic battlefield, I'm going to scream. There's a lot of them in here.

Yet, even though there isn't much going for The Last Legion, it was still rather pleasing to watch. It's campy. It's cheesy. It's all rather endearing if you don't take the movie very seriously. So for those of you who want to see a lighthearted movie that's not full of gore, intense violence or much of anything else, The Last Legion is for you. For those of you who want something more, I strongly suggest Excalibur.

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  • DMD

    The Last Legion IS a fantasy. It is made up and is not intended to be the mother of all Roman Epics. It’s rated PG. Yes, the book, therefore the movie, is about Romulus (who was the last Roman Emporer and was sent into exile) being the forebearer of Arthur. It’s a fun, cheeky, movie and doesn’t take itself too seriously else they wouldn’t have all those cheeky little moments.

  • jodha

    I saw the movie and it was not cheesy. It was not an a plus movie, but it was definitely above average. I agree about the battle scenes! But Rupert Friend is H-O-T! So’s Aishwarya.

  • last_legion_fan

    AMAZING movie… love it!!!