The Last Legion (2007)

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Critic Consensus: With miscast leads and unoriginal, uninspired dialogue, The Last Legion pales in comparison to the recent cinematic epics it invokes.

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Co-adapted by Tom Butterworth and Jez Butterworth from Valerio Massimo Manfredi's best-selling historical adventure novel, Doug Lefler's period epic The Last Legion unfurls in 470 A.D., just prior to the fall of the colossal Roman Empire. As the most recent in a long line of caesars, a young Roman child, Romulus (Thomas Sangster), is poised to inherit the throne -- until Germanic forces invade, lay siege to the city, and brutally murder his parents. At the last second, with his life hanging by a thread, Romulus receives the protection of military commander Aurelius (Colin Firth), who assembles a cadre of rebels, including Romulus, the boy's magician instructor, Ambrosinus (Sir Ben Kingsley), and the Indian female warrior Mira (Aishwarya Rai). After Romulus discovers an enchanted sword once claimed by Julius Caesar, the troupe heads out to the province of Britannia and Hadrian's Wall. There, the men will regroup with the Ninth Legion and plan one final triumphant stand against the barbarian invaders of Rome.

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Critic Reviews for The Last Legion

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (15)

There are, after all, aimed at young audiences plenty of movies more mean-spirited, indiscriminate and obnoxious than The Last Legion. But at the same time there are plenty that are, alas, less frustrating.

Dec 17, 2007 | Full Review…
Film.com
Top Critic

Crudely mangling Arthurian legend into Roman history, this creaky swords 'n' sandals romper trundles forward like a hurriedly upholstered TV movie.

Oct 19, 2007 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…

Every once in a while, though, Firth's eyebrow hints, Can you believe I'm wearing this dorky leather breastplate?

Aug 22, 2007 | Rating: C | Full Review…

I have too much respect for Kingsley and Firth to believe they did this for anything other than the money, and to their credit, they give their best efforts.

Aug 20, 2007 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Despite the occasional gleam of wit, very little is to be taken seriously -- not the story, not the acting and certainly not the history.

Aug 20, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4
Newsday
Top Critic

The movie rarely feels fresh. Even an absurd cage-match like 300 cared enough to be both rousing and handsome. There's no fun to be had here.

Aug 20, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Last Legion

Hmmm a cross breed here with a mix of historical fact ,or what we know, blended with your typical over the top action sillyness much like 'Prince of Thieves'. There are some nice touches here from the cityscape's and landscapes rendered in cgi to the attempt at telling the real tale behind King Arthur, Merlin, Excalibur and the events around that time involving Romans, Celts and barbarians. On one hand it does a nice job, the cast helps, in places yet doesn't in others haha Firth is reduced to a cliched action hero with invincibility on his side much like the 'hero team' *yawn* and his team are the usual predictable lot with the token sexy female warrior hehe the same for the baddies too really, your average growling bearded hulks. The plot is twisty and has many people dotting in n out which doesn't help with the constant mindless fighting going on between everybody and anybody, and the fighting is your usual one man army killing groups of baddies single handed type affair *groan* To be honest it's all rather silly apart from one or too reasonable performances, Sangster and Kingsley mainly, with the realistic historic backdrop attempt that reminds me allot of the old BBC series 'Robin Hood' with Michael Praed. Could of been great if it had been serious.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

An interesting premiss, but too many inconsistencies and a mixing of some nice sets intertwinned with some horrible cgi. What starts out passably reasonable turns silly once the "seige" on Capri begins - the baddie Goths running around a south mediterrenean island wearing furs and viking helmets - hilarious!!! Some of the fight scenes are nicely done, but as there are so many of them it just seems redundant (even Colin Firth kind of shrugs as yet another group of extras comes after him). There's a few nice touches once the group gets to Brittania (Ben Kingsley gathering the young folk around to tell the tale of the forging of the sword) - but even the climatic battle scene gets silly with young Romulus running around like he has a force field around him. There is the potential for a truly good baddie in the man in the gold mask, but then his demise in a battle with Kingsley is way too abrupt and short on drama (not to mention that when Kingsley calls out from the top of the ridge that he has vanquished the tyrant, everyone in the pitch of battle seems to hear him clearly - uh, don't think so! The final surprise twist is done fairly well, but I can't help thinking of the film Excaliber which dealt with the Arthurian legend about a gazillion times better.

paul sandberg
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

½

The Last Legion just didn't click with me. It lacked the crucial sense of "epic-ness" that movies of this ilk need. The cast was unexciting, the story flew by without making an impression, it was just not fun to watch. The whole King Arthur connection seemed to be just tacked on in order to bring in more viewers. There was just enough history in the story to let the viewer know how horribly inaccurate it all was. Couldn't they at least have gotten a decent number of extras for the boring battle scenes?

Lewis C.
Lewis C.

Super Reviewer

I think the main reason I watched this was Colin Firth well I think I made a mistake so did he, And Aishwarya Rai is annoying like always & her character in this movie is annoying too, One star for the sake of its final sequence well I mean the way I interpreted it for myself

Arash Xak
Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

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