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Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Last Legion

Posted on Thu, Aug 16, 2007 at 4:00 AM

**1/2
The Last Legion
Studio: The Weinstein Co.
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 2007-08-17
Cast: Colin Firth, Aishwarya Rai
Director: Doug Lefler
WorkNameSort: Last Legion, The
Our Rating: 2.50
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.

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