Feature

The Last Legion

The last emperor of Rome battles for its future.

The Last Legion has the misfortune of coming on the heels of a more swashbuckling sword-and-sandals epic, said Lisa Rose in the Newark, N.J., Star Ledger. 'œLike 300 without the visual panache,' this listless film purports to tell how the last emperor of Rome, a teenager played here by Thomas Sangster, fought Goths and then fled to England. But clumsy expository speeches and clumsier fight scenes make it difficult to enjoy. 'œOne early siege against the Romans features a bunch of anonymous bodies pushing into each other by torchlight,' said Wesley Morris in The Boston Globe. You can't tell who's who, and you don't care—a problem for a film with an all-star cast. But, then, neither Colin Firth, as the emperor's loyal protector, nor Firth's love interest, Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai, seems particularly concerned with the outcome of the story. So the supporting characters, led by wise and magical mentor Ben Kingsley, ham things up while trudging through a turgid plot that 'œseems longer than a Lord of the Rings marathon played on slow motion.' I guess I'm the only one left who appreciates a good old-fashioned B picture, said Colin Covert in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Last Legion's creators should be applauded for using real locations, rather than computer-generated ones, and trusting their straightforward tale of heroism. Sure, 'œthere's none of the arterial spray of 300,' but haven't we had enough of that?

Rating: PG-13

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