The Last Legion

The Last Legion

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Fuck the Ides of March. Beware the perils of croaky narration that speaks of CGI-enhanced hills, swords forged for great kings, and a mysterious pentagon. Yes, a pentagon—burned into the chest of Ambrosinus (Ben Kingsley), alias Merlin, back in the day by some mysteriously masked super villain, possibly a goth. In the present, old Ambrosinus is no longer useful to a crumbling Roman empire now that Romulus Augustus (Thomas Sangster) has become Caesar, but when the Goths kill the boy’s mommy and daddy, Ambrosinus returns and proposes they spend spring break in Britannia, where Mira (Aishwarya Rai) is introduced rising from the ocean as if she were Jaws. Based on the 2003 Italian novel by Valerio Massimo Manfredi, The Last Legion is a fantastically absurd mashup of history and legend (think HBO’s Rome meets The Sword in the Stone) set against a ridiculously Disneyfied tour of Europe—a depressing pageant of bad dialogue, uninspired sword fights, corny getaways, and loads of completely unintentional sexual innuendo (“May I see your sword, commander?” asks Caesar to Colin Firth’s obliging Aurelius). Apparently the ancient sword that Caesar finds after randomly falling through a castle floor’s hole served one cause: truth. In the present, the sword’s single-minded purpose is cutting people up. Amid all the carnage, Mira makes a dramatic return to the water and Merlin foists the deformed freak who branded him against his will into a humongous tree’s fiery, gaping hole. And it’s at this exact point that you realize that nothing could have saved this witless movie experience unless it had cut to a yeast infection commercial.

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DVD
Distributor
The Weinstein Company
Runtime
110 min
Rating
PG-13
Year
2007
Director
Doug Lefler
Screenwriter
Jez Butterworth, Tom Butterworth
Cast
Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley, Aishwarya Rai, Peter Mullan, Kevin McKidd, John Hannah, Iain Glen, Thomas Sangster, Rupert Friend, Nonso Anozie, Owen Teale, Alexander Siddig