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Movie Review: Centurion

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I chose this movie because it was about the Romans which I enjoy studying. I also enjoy movies about war. There was lots of blood such the reviews told. The reviews on this move were positive except for the ones talking about how the movie was quite historically inaccurate. This movie was loosely based on the massacre of the ninth legion and centered on the supposed disappearance of the Ninth Legion in Caledonia in AD 117. The ninth legion was commanded by Quintus Petillius Cerialis originally, but in the movie it is shown that it was first commanded by General Virilus before being captured and taken over by Quintus Dias. The ninth legion had a total of about 5,000 men, but it is unlikely that Quintus called all of them on such short notice since they were trying to relieve the siege on Britain.

He probably called on the first unit and maybe some others. This would have totaled to be about 2,500- 3,000. They went to fight the Caledonians or in other words, the Picts who lived in Britain. The Picts were highly trained and ruthless. The Romans have defeated them as well as they have defeated the Romans. The legion was defeated by these British tribes wiping out the entire infantry. Tacitus writes that Quintus and his men escaped though which is what this movie is based upon. This attack is a significant even, but it was not well recorded. The directors could only base the movie on what is recorder making most of this movie incorrect.

One of the major themes is trust and betrayal. The characters in the movies had many cases where their trust with other people disintegrated. For example, the Romans trusted Etain to help them with hunting down the Picts. It turns out that actually the Picts sent her to Rome to gain their trust, so she could lead them right into the Pict’s trap. She wants revenge because the Roman armies killed and raped her family and then cut out her tongue. Another example would be when Thax cuts Macros’s leg. Since he is unable to walk, Thax can run away from the group of wolfs while they attack and eat Macro. Another theme would be that nobody gets left behind. The group of surviving soldiers constantly tries and stays together even when one is hurt and is falling behind. For example, when Tarak breaks his leg, they still try and carry him even though the Picts are right behind them. If he hadn’t got shot, then I believe that they would have still tried to get him home alive. Another example would be when they try and save the General. Even though, they did not save him, they still tried and risked getting killed which most of them did.

The movie affected me personally by showing me that you really can’t trust even the people who are closes to you. This is shown in the movie from Thax’s betrayal. In some parts, I flinched and gasped which should me that I’m actually quite emotional even towards movies. The relevance of this movie on today’s society would be the fact that there were two traitors. We now a day still have people who are trying to “help” our government/army that are helping another country. We just do not know it yet. I believe the movie did a great job in reflecting the theme of the massacre. They did not have much to work with since it was not well enough recorded. They added their own twist by adding a slight love story at the end between Quintus and the “witch”, Arianne. If they did not take this license, they would have not had a story to tell. They had to add in Etain, so they could have a better storyline. I personally enjoyed this movie and would gladly watch it again. I especially like the part when Quintus kills Etain and lays her down slowly as if he is kind to her. She was practically the greatest hunter of the time. I find it sad at the end though that Bothos is killed right at the wall because they thought he was a Pict and when Quintus is almost killed because the Romans do not want anyone else knowing of their failure.

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