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Spartacus - Vengeance [DVD]
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On the heels of the bloody escape from the House of Batiatus that concluded Spartacus: Blood and Sand , the gladiator rebellion continues and begins to strike fear into the heart of the Roman Republic in Spartacus: Vengeance. Gaius Claudius Glaber and his Roman troops are sent to Capua to crush the growing band of freed slaves that Spartacus leads before it can inflict further damage. Spartacus is presented the choice of satisfying his personal need for vengeance against the man who condemned his wife to slavery and eventual death or making the larger sacrifices necessary to keep his budding army from breaking apart. Containing all of the blood-soaked action, exotic sexuality, villainy and heroism that has come to distinguish the series, the tale of Spartacus resumes in epic fashion.
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Vengeance picks up where Blood and sand left off, Spartacus continues his quest to recruit more slaves to his cause as Glaber returns to crush the building rebellion. Season 2 gets off to a bit of a shaky start picking up the ending of Blood and Sand two years later with a new lead actor and no defined antagonist.
Liam Mcintyre takes up the title role after the tragic death of actor Andy Whitfield. Comparison is inevitable with big shoes to fill, thankfully Mcintyre continues to get better and better as the season progresses, the first few episodes a trial by fire in which he seems somewhat uncomfortable but by the middle of season he seems to find his footing and by the end he is Spartacus.
I had my doubts that season 2's villain of the piece Glaber, played by Craig Parker, would be able to hold his own after John Hannah's utterly brilliant rendition of Ludus owner Batiatus, and while the first few episodes set him and his ambitions up he continually develops to be more ruthless and cunning becoming a worthy rival for Spartacus.
Indeed the first four episodes of season 2 are a little directionless with Spartacus running around getting into fights and freeing slaves however episode 5 lights the match on this season, Liam's performance has become more assured, Glaber shows his true colours, a truly explosive action sequence and the return of Gannicus. From then on the seasons steps up and becomes a relentless ride to the finish.
It's still nice to see a step back from the action at times for some quieter moments as Gannicus tries to heal his broken friendship with Oenomaus; Crixus tries to help a damaged Naevia reassert herself as well as the developing relationship between Spartacus and Mira.Read more ›
That was only exacerbated by Gods of the Arena, which is arguably even better than the original series. We were treated to the rise of Batiatus of Crixus, introduced to Gannicus and witnessed more blood and sex than ever before.
The sad news that Andy Whitfield was fighting a losing battle with cancer meant the role was passed on to Liam McIntyre. Big boots to fill - the role of Spartacus suited Andy to the core, and he brought a sophisticated mixture of fierceness, wit and muscle to the character.
At first I was sceptical about McIntyre. In comparison to Whitfield, who is fairly softly-spoken and kind-faced (which creates a great juxtaposition between the man and the warrior), McIntyre's facial expression is often one of seething rage; teeth gritted and brow furrowed. He is also quite noticeably less 'built' then his predecessor. The acting was a little wooden at first, as if he was completely overawed by the magnitude of the role and the calibre of actors surrounding him.
Yet he soon grew into the role. To say he has done justice to Whitfield's Spartacus would be an apt commendation, yet it would also be harsh on McIntyre. To put it bluntly; he comes good by the end of the series. You are made to feel Spartacus' pain, and eventually you find yourself emitting a sigh of relief as he finds his own peace. The moment of deliverance in the season finale is outstanding; easily the best scene from any of the three seasons. Recall season one, where Glaber noticed that the Thracian had 'learnt his place' before him, on his knees? The roles are reversed here as Spartacus enjoys the moment.Read more ›
When Andy Whitfield was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2010 Starz decided to create a prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand. That prequel being Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. This was to give Andy Whitfield time to recover, at first Andy's treatment was successful and Starz started to plan for the new series. Unfortunately Andy Whitfield suffered a recurrence of the disease and had to pull out of the role as Spartacus. Andy Whitfield tragically passed away on the 11th September 2011, at the age of 39.
At this point Starz weren't sure if the series was to continue. Text from Wikipedia:
Steven S DeKnight (series creator) added that the Spartacus producers and Starz executives weren't always sure they would go forward without Andy Whitfield, who they said had brought "gravity and heart" to the role of the famous warrior. "It's unheard of to recast your titular character in a television show, and we did a lot of soul searching about whether we even wanted to try", DeKnight said. "And then Andy [Whitfield] said, 'I really think the show should go forward without me. I give you the blessing. I want this story told.'"
Liam McIntyre was later cast as Spartacus.
When I heard that Starz were going to continue the series I was of course delighted, but at the same time had that worry of "will it be the same without Andy Whitfield?". Ever since Liam McIntyre was cast as Spartacus I always felt he deserved the chance to make the role his own.
In all honesty it did take a couple of episodes to warm up to Liam, but that was to be expected after following such a great actor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
couldnt resist getting these when they were on offer, really enjoyed it when it was on tvPublished 7 days ago by MR D F HILL
Lots of blood gore sex nudity etc this is the 2nd part of the Spartacus trilogy.
Starts where the 1st series ends
Not made for history enthusiasts but for shock and... Read more
My goodness, i would rather this series of dvd's than game of thrones!Published 1 month ago by D. A. Price