‘The Last Legion’ movie review: Roman epic turns laughable

Awful mess concerning the journey of young Romulus Augustus (Thomas Sangster), heir to the Roman throne who flees the city as the Roman Empire begins to crumble, with the aid of General Aurelius (Colin Firth) and mystical Ambrosinus (Ben Kingsley).

As they head to Britain in search of supporters, tired birth-of-King-Arthur references begin to flourish.

Notable for the casting of Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai, embarrassingly out of place as a Xena clone (her on-screen romance with Firth´s Aurelius is hampered as explicit displays of intimacy is a no-no in India; too bad they don´t feel the same way about starring in cinematic waste like this).

Director Lefler is a TV veteran who´s most notable work includes Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess; and yeah, it shows.

If only the film starred a tongue-in-cheek Kevin Sorbo or Lucy Lawless, we might have some fun here; instead, we get a cavalcade of respectable actors who seem to be taking things entirely too seriously.

Most critics have given this one a pass – it´s not out-and-out, in-your-face offensively bad – but the pure banality (nary an emotion, and even unintentional comedy is rare) wore me down as the film plodded on; if it were any worse, it would only be better.

Purported 67 million USD budget is a laugh; not a fraction of that appears on the screen, as the production values scream “made-for-TV”.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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