Monday, August 30, 2010


Review: Centurion
3 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund

With 2005's “The Descent,” writer/director Neil Marshall delivered one of the best horror films of the last 10 years. The subterranean thriller – which sees a group of trapped female spelunkers square off against pasty-skinned monsters – is a triumph of story, craft, atmosphere and chills, and given the slim-pickings of the genre, some might even call it vital. (Others might reach for a similar adjective when discussing “Dog Soldiers,” Marshall's cult-fave debut.) “Centurion,” a son-of-“Gladiator” splatterfest oddly aimed at the arthouse, produces the opposite reaction. More akin to his 2008 misfire, “Doomsday,” Marshall's latest is a well-enough made clash-of-the-broadswords picture, but it reeks of inconsequence. Amidst all the amply distributed plasma and the Ridley-Scott-gunmetal-filter photography, you wonder: Why should I care about this movie?


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