“Ten years as a farmer gives you something worth fighting for. Twenty as a legionary teaches you to be ready for the day.”
The Scoop: 2007, PG-13, directed by Doug Lefler and starring Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley, and Aishwarya Rai
Tagline: Before King Arthur, there was Excalibur
Summary Capsule: Young kid gets a sword, and he doesn’t even have to pull it out of a rock or have it hurled at him by some watery tart.
Lissa’s rating: If you couldn’t figure out the guy in the armor was a chick, just go away. I’m not even sure I want to talk to you.
Lissa’s review: Okay, who’s up on their Hollywood gossip? If you are, can you tell me WHAT Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley did that they owed someone this big? I mean, really. I didn’t look at the cast list carefully, and through the whole movie I kept thinking “wow, that man looks like Colin Firth, but it can’t be. He’d never pick a movie this bad these days, would he?” Shows you how much I know.
We picked this lovely little stinker up because it was cheap, and we’d just watched Rome. (This was well over a year ago.) Actually, I think it came packaged with something else. I forget if it said “Exclusively for Blockbuster!” on the cover or if that was just Duckie being sarcastic (I suspect that might be the case), and I’m too lazy to get up and look, but believe me, it might as well have. For some reason – probably because Duckie actually DID look at the cast list – we assumed that it might actually be good. I mean, Ben Kinglsey? He’s one heck of an actor. And Colin Firth might not be my favorite, but he’s quite good in certain roles. However, we were wrong.
It’s not that this movie is offensive. In fact, in a lot of ways it’s not, especially in one way I’ll discuss in a minute. It’s just that it’s BAD. The acting is bad. The script is bad. The pacing is bad. The scenery is bad. And when do you ever see me talk about scenery? Yeah, that’s right. I noticed that the scenery was bad, and that is not a good thing. Okay, okay, so in some spots it’s so bad that it’s funny, but it’s still just bad.
Do you really want a plot summary? Oh, geeze, fine. Let me think. Young kid becomes Caesar. (Drove me nuts the entire movie trying to figure out where I’d seen Thomas Sangster before. Love Actually.) Captain of the guard (that would be Firth) and wise old schoolmaster mentor (that would be Kingsley) are at odds as how to protect him. They both fail miserably, and the Gaouls kidnap the kid. (Once we finally cottoned on, it amused us very much to realize that Kevin McKidd was under all that red hair and scowling, especially since we’d picked this up after being on our Rome kick, where he is infinitely better. But hey – I’d be scowling too, if I was in this movie.) Exotic and mysterious warrior (Aishwarya Rai) helps them get the kid back. They go on a road trip to Britain, picking up a sword along the way. Whoohoo! I remembered it! Believe me – I watched the film a few days ago, so that is an accomplishment.
Were there any saving graces about this movie? Well, sure. It wasn’t The Doom Generation, after all. You can follow the plot, there were a few moments I was supposed to laugh and I did, and… um… it wasn’t offensive. Oh, right – there was something about that. One thing I did actually like was despite the fact it was obvious that Mira was a woman pretty much from the second you saw her, they didn’t fall into some of the more offensive tropes of that sort of a character. Even after the inevitable falling in love garbage, Mira retained her butt kicking prowess. I liked that – that love didn’t make her this simpering, whining, “save me” character all of a sudden like it so often does in bad action flicks like this. So there was that. There really wasn’t much more, though.
It is totally sporkable and mockable, and if you get drunk with some friends and go into it with the right MST3K attitude, you could have some fun with it. Actually, there were some moments I was laughing my butt off, and I’m positive I was supposed to be moved or horrified. But really¸ that’s the only reason to watch this one. Otherwise, give it a pass. And now, you all owe me for giving you the heads’ up.
- The scenery was painted styrofoam. Yes, I noticed.
- In Love Actually, Colin Firth’s character fell in love with a woman named Aurelia. In The Last Legion he plays Aurelius.
- Heh, that’s right. Another Love Actually connection. And actually, now I’m getting in the mood to watch that. Maybe closer to Christmas, though.
- Was it just me, or was it really hard not to think something was going on between Aurelius and Nestor?
- That Mira was a WOMAN? ::gasp:: What a TWIST! I did NOT see that coming! (Okay, I’ll stop with that now.)
- Ben Kingsley’s son played the younger version of Merlin.
- Aww. According to this, Uther and Igraine met when they were little kids. How sweet.
Demetrius: You kept your armor after all these years?
Tertius: Ten years as a farmer gives you something worth fighting for. Twenty as a legionary teaches you to be ready for the day.
Demetrius: Good man.
Aurelius: My friends, we’ve all seen many mornings like this one. Together we’ve watched the sun rise, and not known if that day would be our last. Some comrades I’ve seen, scarcely out of boyhood, trembling before their first battle.
Demetrius: It was a cold morning, Commander.
Romulus Augustus: Mother, am I now the most powerful man in the world?
Flavia: Of course you are.
Romulus Augustus: Then why can’t I stay out tonight?
Young Arthur: Merlin, it’s just a legend, just a story.
Ambrosinus: Arthur, Arthur, Arthur… have I ever lied to you?
Young Arthur: Every day.
If You Liked This Movie, Try These:
- A Knight’s Tale
- The 300