29 July 2009 | ma-cortes
Features exciting fighting scenes, impressive battles and fabulous costumes
This is a nice production with an average budget, great sets and thundering battles about the fall of the Roman Empire. Although the complete Roman Empire decline and fall took centuries, by the end of fifth century it was simply a battleground for warring rival Caesars and Barbarians chiefs. The Germans gather, take over and pull down the Roman gates. The Goths commanded by Odoacer(Peter Mullan), king of Herulos, invade Rome(476 AD), assesinated Orestes(Iain Glen), father of emperor Romulus Augustulos (Thomas Sangster). The young Caesar is sent to Capri along with his preceptor Ambrosinus(Ben Kingsley). A motley group of soldiers led by loyal Aurelianus (Colin Firth) are assigned by senator Nestor (John Hannah) to free him. They're accompanied by a beautiful Indian warrior named Mira (Aishwarya Rai). Without another alternative, they travel to Britannia to meet the last legion, located near the Wall of Adriano; but they're pursued by relentless barbarians (Kevin McKidd, James Cosmo). Although the Romans had partially withdrawn from Britain and its politics essentially dissolved into chaos. Later on, it's thought that a minor war lord, probably named Artos, did his best to maintain civilization and Christianity in the west of England.
This is a larger-than-life production with good direction, interesting scripting, and enthusiastic performances place this far above the usual empty-headed historical spectacle. Several action scenes are outstanding with spectacular battle images and thrilling fights. Unfortunately, on small house screens much of the splendor will be lost. You will be left with the wooden Colin Firth and the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai in a love story that was underdeveloped due tho the film's emphasis on spectacle. The picture packs colorful cinematography by Pontecorvo and evocative musical score by Patrick Doyle. The flick is professionally directed by Doug Lefler, who previously made ¨Dragonheart , a new beginning ¨. Rating : Good, it's a nice extravaganza well set in ancient Rome, done in great scale and praised for its action sequences.