- Actors: Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley, Aishwarya Rai, Peter Mullan, Kevin McKidd
- Directors: Doug Lefler
- Producers: Dino de Laurentiis, Martha de Laurentiis, Raffaella de Laurentiis
- Format: PAL, Colour, Surround Sound, Widescreen, Dolby
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: 12
- Studio: Momentum Pictures
- DVD Release Date: 18 Feb. 2008
- Run Time: 97 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000YDAJHM
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,248 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
The Last Legion [DVD]
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Action adventure set at the time of the fall of the Roman empire. As the Roman Empire crumbles, the last Emperor, Romulus Augustus Caesar (Thomas Sangster), flees the city, heading for Britain, in search of a long-lost legion of Roman soldiers. Romulus's plans soon change however, when he stumbles upon the mythical sword of Excaliber, and becomes part of its history.
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Top customer reviews
The storyline mixes history and myths, daredevil escapes, romantic locations, ancient ruins, revenge and romance, swordplay and a hint of understated sorcery. It’s easy-going watching; a bloodless fantasy quest set in a possible interpretation of the past rather than a fictional Middle Earth. There’s a suitably skillful woman warrior in one of the key supporting roles, and the identity of one of the other characters is obvious from very early on… even if the storyteller plainly doesn’t know which sword is which in the Arthurian myth.
Don’t expect any compelling drama akin to the death of Boromir scene; The Last Legion has none of that intensity. Nor does it deliver gob-smacking special FX, sweaty sex scenes or brutal violence. It’s a jolly romp, one which should entertain a younger audience but not entirely drive the adults to distraction.
While it's all another take on the supposed Roman roots of the King Arthur legend, at least it doesn't subject us to leading players as painfully dire and hopelessly disengaged as Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in Antoine Fuqua's otherwise more enjoyable King Arthur: Firth and Rai may be distinctly B-Ark casting, but at least they show signs of having a pulse and deliver more than competent performances even if they lack the genuinely epic quality the film cries out for. Firth in particular seems surprisingly at home as an experienced soldier, finally seeming to have got rid of that constant look of mild indigestion that plagued so many of his earlier big screen performances.
Whereas in the old days the Romans in epics were cast almost exclusively from the ranks of English actors, in this case it's the Scots who seem to be running the Empire with the likes of John Hannah and Iain Glenn pulling the strings, though matters are somewhat confused by the fact that the Goths are also all played by Scots like Kevin McKidd and Peter Mullan. In fact the Scots are everywhere in the cast list, as if the casting director got a job lot of them cheap. Just to pile on the curiosity factor, Ben Kingsley - sorry, SIR Ben Kingsley, as he is billed in the end credits - engagingly overplays his part with a Welsh accent despite his character hailing from somewhere in the vicinity of Hadrian's Wall (which would, if historical accuracy were a factor, have given him an Irish accent at that time).
It goes without saying from the prominent billing of Harvey Scissorhands on the credits that the Weinsteins have been at the film with the shears, though here it seems more in an attempt to secure a PG rating than losing anything that really affects the narrative - there's a curious tendency to cut away whenever a major character is killed which isn't helped by some rather average staging of the action scenes. Although supposedly healthily budgeted (with Dino, experience has shown that it's never a good idea to believe the films really cost anywhere near as much as he claims), the film boasts so many producers and credited writers that you get the impression that they ate up a fair portion of the budget before a single shot was ever filmed, leaving the crowd scenes less populated than they should be for a self-respecting epic. Unfortunately director Doug Lefler draws attention to the problem and shows his straight-to-video credentials with his lack of the all-important extreme long shots that epics demand even in the scenes where he has enough extras, leaving the film short on memorable imagery. This is certainly one of the few epics you feel won't lose anything being seen on the small screen instead of the big one.
But it's hard to really dislike in its old Saturday matinée style: it more or less does exactly what it sets out to do without having any pretensions to being anything more profound or meaningful. And how can you not love a film that ends with a sword in the stone and Boyo Benny's Merlin asking a child "Arthur, Arthur, Arthur, Arthur, hahve ay evah ly-ed two ewe?"
Nothing dramatic and although I wouldn't scare you away completely, there are much better films out there.
And a damn good one at that. Gladiator is another example, not much fact but a great film. As for realism, Romulas, Vortkin, the Goths, the Eastern Empire, Hadrians Wall, all there for some realism. And a great stirring sound track.