Thursday, August 26, 2010

Movie Review


The grotesque and brutal film about a roman solders Centurion Quintus Dias struggles to get out from behind enemy lines, while being chased by the Picts, a nomad clan. The Picts have been taking out Roman soldiers one by one. Quintus escape puts him under the command of General Titus Flavius Virilus played by Dominique West (300, 28Days, Mona Lisa Smile) to once again go back after the Picts. The Picts are a savage bevy of people, that are expert trackers. When betrayal becomes a key character in the film it puts Quintus again back behind enemy lines, but now he is accompanied by 6 other men. The film traces these men and their journey to survive the harsh winter of the Scottish highlands and the Picts close on their tails.

Its a graphic film with lots of blood and epic battle scenes. The Roman soldiers on the run are on foot, but the Pict Warriors are on horse. The horses are all of some draft type. Very Scottish breeds, but what I really liked about the look of the horses was that they had that tether worn look. You know you have seen these films that have these beautiful Friesians and other majestic horses that we all love to see, but they look like they have gone through the grooming works. These horses are supposed to be in battle living in the woods. Most movies make the horses look so good you could lick whip cream off their neck. Not these horses they had full on winter coats and were dirty, it was very actual. In the film actress Olga Kurylenko plays Etain the betrayer and antagonist in the film. You have seen Olga in films like Hitman and she was the Bond girl in Quantum of Solace. She rides and fights in the film, however nothing too daring. She had some ample fight scenes, but on horse I was not too impressed. She rode a white draft looking horse, that probably could of been a Lipizzaner. He looked very lazy to me. The Roman soldiers of course rode the more sophisticated horses compared to the Picts. In the first battle scenes where there is a Pictish raid on the Romans, some of the actors that played roman soldiers where holding the horses in the scene while the key actors performed. I frown on stuff like that, because being in the business horse and riders are very capable of this. I can't say for sure but I'm sure there is a reason for the action.

The Film was directed by Neil Marshall who also brought you Doomsday and The Descent. The character of Centurion Quintus Dias is played by Michael Fassbender. You have seen him in films like in Inglourious Basterds as Lt. Archie Hicox, and 300. His next move is the young Magneto in X-Men: First Class.

I give it 2 1/2 hoofbeats. Go check it out!