The Last Legion
The Weinstein Co.
Colin Firth, Aishwarya Rai
Last Legion, The
As a formulaic sword-and-sandal flick, The Last Legion
succeeds as much as one can expect from a late-summer studio cast-off. The story finds a dedicated Roman soldier (Colin Firth) doing his best to protect the life of a young and newly crowned emperor (Thomas Sangster) being hunted by Goth invaders as the Roman Empire is falling. Embarking upon a journey from Rome to Britannia to enlist the aid of "the last legion" of Roman soldiers not under the thumb of the barbarians, the two are accompanied and aided by a mystic (Ben Kingsley) and a female warrior from "the Eastern empire" (Aishwarya Rai). The rather numb pacing of director Doug Lefler does nothing to uplift the infinitely predictable (and cliché-ridden) screenplay, and Rai and Kingsley are saddled with stilted, ridiculous dialogue that's far beneath their abilities. Yet, when the former proves her mettle in hand-to-hand combat and the latter starts shooting fireballs from his hands, the many faults of The Last Legion
give way to guilt-free popcorn thrills.