The Last Legion (2007) by The Critical Movie Critics

Movie Review: The Last Legion (2007)


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?

  • 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) is the captain of the guards, his spiritual aide Ambrosinus (Ben Kingsley) and Mira (Aishwarya Rai) an Indian warrioress. Together they journey to gather the forces of the 9th 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!
  • Poor acting. Each and every person behaves like a statue. There is absolutely no emotional range from any of the characters. The delivery is barely worthy of a poorly cast porno flick. Ben Kingsley has undoubtedly been better (see “House of Sand and Fog” and “Gandhi”). Colin Firth has done marginally better things (see “Bridget Jones’s Diary”). Aishwarya Rai gives it her best college try, but ends up trying too hard. If she wants to successfully break away from Bollywood, she’ll need to show more skin.
  • 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 anymore of those moments where fighters have the time to hug or lovingly gaze at 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.”

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
2 Star Rating: Bad

2

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The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.


'Movie Review: The Last Legion (2007)' have 4 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    October 9, 2007 @ 8:06 pm Oscar

    Just seen it , and must agree with the reviewer, i think this is the kind of films you watch on tv not at the movies.

    Reply

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 12, 2008 @ 2:14 pm REK MEERDINK

    I saw the movie at home (rented), my ten year old loved it. It got her interested in history. Here is what we learned: in 394-5 Theodosius was the sole ruler of the Roman Empire–he spit the empire with his sons, one in the West (Honorius), and one in the East (Arcadius); where in the West, the Roman capital was moved to Ravenna. Germans and Huns, the Goths, kept threatening the series of weak emperors. In 476 the Emperor Romulas Augustulus was indeed depositioned by the Goth leader Odoacer, causing the Western Roman Empire to cease to exist. The Jutes, Angles, and the Saxons invaded Britain in 450. They would have been in power for ten years, having pushed the the Britons to Wales,Cornwall,Scotland, and Brittany (Aremorica), and there began the Legend of King Arthur. PBS has a great program on the legend of Arthur, and there is some historical connections to Rome. The ideas about dragons come from the terrifying use of dragon windsocks that made freightful noise as the Roman legions attacked. While I agree with much of your criticism, it has value in showing , while not 100% correct, this part of history. I enjoyed it modestly well, and, since all history should be studied, I liked the spark of interest it gave me to look up some small facts.

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  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    January 13, 2008 @ 10:15 am General Disdain

    I saw the movie at home (rented), my ten year old loved it. It got her interested in history.

    Glad to hear the movie got your daughter interested in history — it’s a subject that requires more studying.

    Reply

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 19, 2008 @ 11:12 am DDeMore

    I saw this movie in theater and own the DVD. (I run a Colin Firth website.) While not an epic, as they had no inclinations for it to be, it is not as bad as you say. It borders on the old Hollywood movies of the 50’s. There is no use of CGI or other special effects, which I found refreshing.
    That said, they did gear this towards 12 – 14 year olds, so the lack of violence worked for me. I have to also say, though, I wasn’t pleased with the result. Had they kept more to the novel on which this was based it could have been a much better film. The story line was a bit more complex and intriguing.
    As for the characters, Aurelius is based (loosely) on a real Roman general, Ambrosinus is ‘supposed’ to be Merlin and as your other poster stated; there is historical fact for many of these events.
    As for Colin Firth, he got his action movie and held his own. He did all of his own stunts, except jumping off that cliff and if you only think he has done a few good things, you haven’t seen most of his dramatic roles.
    Are you going to review Helen Hunt’s “Then She Found Me?” Colin is also in this. It comes out 25 April and even Rex Reed loved this one. (I saw it at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2007)

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