Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Centurion on DVD

Centered around the mysterious disappearance of the Ninth Legion from Britain the film begins with a raid on the furthest Roman outpost in the UK and the the fall of the Ninth Legion and capture of their General (Dominic West) who is betrayed by their Pict guide (Olga Kurylenko).

A handful of survivors (Dimitri LeonidasNoel ClarkeDavid MorrisseyLiam Cunningham), a cook (Riz Ahmed) and a former Centurion prisoner (Michael Fassbender) must try and make their way back to the Roman lines before the fury of the Pict leader (Ulrich Thomsen) reigns down on them.

Bloody, violent, bleak, and paced within an inch of its life Centurion certainly isn't for everyone. The entire film is basically one long chase scene as this handful of soldiers attempt to flee from an enemy that has sworn an oath to kill them.

The only brief moment of respite comes in the valley of a Pict witch (Imogen Poots) who offers them momentary shelter from their flight.

The special features of one this one-disc DVD include cast and crew interviews, production design galleries, deleted scenes, outtakes, four behind-the-scenes featurettes on the myth of the Ninth Legion and recreating the Picts, shooting on location in Scotland, the blood and gore of the film, and the special effect and stunt sequences. Also included is commentary by writer/director Neil Marshall, cinematographer Sam McCurdy, Simon Bowles, and Paul Hyett.

Centurion isn't epic or grand. It's dirty, bloody, and visceral, but fans of this type of film involving large battles and plenty of gore should enjoy themselves. Is Kurylenko ridiculous as the mute tracker with near supernatural powers? Sure. Is the outcome of the film all too easy to guess? You bet. But the pacing, visuals across the Scottish landscape, and a strong performance by Fassbender should be enough to keep your interest (at least for a single viewing).

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