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Thursday, September 15, 2011




"This is Hadrian's plan? A fucking wall?"

Didn't I just watch this movie a couple of months ago? Despite being unrelated productions, Centurion is similar to The Eagle, but is set three years prior to the events of The Eagle. In Centurion, Michael Fassbender stars as Roman Centurion Quintus Dias, stationed on a frontier fort in Ancient Britain, "the asshole of the world". A Pict raid on his fort slaughters his men and sees him captured, but Fassbender escapes and manages to rendezvous with the fabled Ninth Legion of Rome, under the command of General Titus Flavius Virilus (Dominic West).  The Ninth are under orders to decimate the Picts and kill their leader Gorlacon (Ulrich Thomsen). Instead, the Ninth are slaughtered by the Picts in a graphic bloodletting complete with great balls of fire after they are betrayed by their Pict scout Olga Kurylenko. Never trust a Pict! 

Kurylenko's character is Centurion's most curious creation; she is a fearsome mute warrior and an almost supernaturally skilled tracker. As a girl her family was raped and slaughtered before she was raped by Romans. After being raised by the Picts, Gorlacon sends her to the Romans to gain their trust and eventually lead some Romans back to Britain so they can be killed. That's a pretty wild scheme full of logical holes. Golacon may have been the ancient predecessor of the spymasters of MI-6. Fassbender and the few survivors of the Ninth are hunted by Kurylenko all across Britain. For a time, Fassbender finds refuge in the home of Imogen Poots, a beautiful Briton cast out by the Picts accused of being a necromancer. 

In the midst of the frenzied ultra violence, oodles of blood spilling, dismemberments and decapitations, Centurion works hard to cement disgust at the duplicity of Rome. Turns out the Picts were right to hate the Romans, who are a two-faced bunch, as Fassbender learns firsthand when he is able to return to the under-construction Hadrian's Wall and finds himself sold out by his superiors. In order to hide the shame of truth of their mighty Ninth Legion falling to the Picts, the Roman governors opt to strike the Ninth's history from the records. Fassbender is considered a liability and becomes a fugitive once more. Poor Fassbender. He can't trust the Picts, he can't trust his fellow Romans, he can't trust Charles Xavier