Last Legion, The
PG-13
Entertainment: +1
Acceptability: +1/2

Colin Firth, Thomas Sanger, Ben Kingsley, Aishwarya Rai. Action/adventure. Written by Jez and Tom Butterworth. Directed by Doug Lefler.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Barbarians overtake Rome and kidnap the newest Caesar, a 12-year-old boy. The surviving captain of the guard sees Rome completely destroyed and goes after the abducted emperor with the aid of a handful of assorted warriors, including a beautiful martial arts expert from India. Once they have the boy back, and this really big sword, they find themselves in battle after battle as they search for a new kingdom.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Twelve-year-old Romulus Augustus, the newest Caesar, learns quickly that the barbarians truly are at the gate. His legions are off somewhere and soon hes without an empire, left with only a handful of warriors who look like theyre out of a Conan movie rather than members of the Roman army. Together they search for sanctuary as they cross rough terrain and battle everybody but Conan. I mean theres a lot of sword play. Trouble is, the battle sequences are so ineptly staged and filmed that it feels more like a TV-made movie. And thats about all there is to this movie. Some masked villain is determined to kill off the boy king and take his place, ruling the known world. Hes got a lot of henchmen willing to do his bidding and, though fierce warriors themselves, theyre no match for our small band of killer elites.

With probably the most absurd take on the Excalibur legend yet brought to the screen, aided by functional performances that do little to inspire (listening to Colin Firths speech to the troops before the final battle, one wonders why they didnt all go back to their farms) and listless direction and blah cinematography, its easy to understand why critics werent invited to an early screening. The studio knew the job was blown, and so they hoped to get a little back on their investment from those hearty first weekenders who must see attractions that first Friday and Saturday night come hell or high water.

Well, nobody got hurt. Moviegoers have survived many a poor theatrical offering and filmmakers have botched other action pictures even worse (audiences should have sued over last years Stealth). But there are a lot better films on DVD concerning Rome, or sword battles or dangerous journeys. Heck, theres many a home movie that would be more inspiring.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: A few minor expletives, but I caught no harsh or profane language.
Profanity: None
Violence: One sword battle after another; two stuntmen are seen ablaze after a fireball is hurled at them; a man has his finger cut off; the boys parents are killed; the boy extracts revenge by killing a man; the poor peasants are mistreated and butchered though the director films the mayhem in an effort to garner a PG-13 rather than the more exploitive R rating. Blood: Every sword and knife is seen with blood dripping.
Sexual Intercourse: The female lead comes to the leads tent and gets into his bed; they are still clothed, but as the scene cuts away, it is implied she stayed the night.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Some hearty wine drinking in one scene.
Other: A Shaman-like teacher refers to a Pentangle it looks like something involving wizardry, but he calls it a symbol of faith and truth.
Running Time: 111 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teens and Adults

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