Lost Relic from Past Cinema: Last Legion
last modified: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 (2:36:29 AM)
<b>Last Legion --</b>
This is the best 8-10 year old boy movie I’ve seen since I last rented a 1960s fantasy adventure movie. It’s based on some 2003 novel I’ve never heard of.

I saw the movie because it was playing near a nice restaurant, before watching the movie all I had heard about it was:
<i> “… it’s more intellectual than ‘300’” and “…it’s not historically accurate.” </i>
Both of which are true; but “Rambo”, 1982 is more intellectual than “300” and this movie was just slightly more historically accurate than “Hercules and the Treasure of the Incas”, 1964.

The plot of this film was like “Jack the Giant Killer”, 1962 or “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad”, 1958. The kid Caesar could have been “Jack the Giant Killer’s” Cabin Boy, or the Genie from “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad”. The effects and violence were like an episode of “Xena: Warrior Princess” or “Hercules”. This movie could have used a giant clay-mation monster.

<u>Story:</u> <i>(spoilers … but the film is obvious)</i>
Colin Firth, Aurelius, is brought to Rome to act as commander of the guard for the new boy emperor, Romulus. After some friendly Man/Boy joshing between Aurelius and Romulus involving the threatened removal of a hand, Rome is overrun with Goths; Romulus’ almost non-existent parents die; and the boy is imprisoned with his wise old teacher (Ambrosinus/Merlin - Ben Kingsley), by big hulking ugly Goths. To save the boy, Aurelius forms a small fighting force from the remnants of his original guard unit. His men consist of a nice young man warrior; a big buff guy; some expendable guy who can die to show things are bad; and an exotic, Eastern warrior woman (Bollywood’s Aishwarya Rai). Not surprisingly, they save Romulus, who happened to find Excalibur during his imprisonment. There’s a nice Father/Son like hug scene, but unfortunately Aurelius is double crossed by the erstwhile backers of this rescue mission … and expendable guy dies T__T

To keep the boy safe, the band travels on a perilous journey to Britain in order to meet up with the abandoned Roman 9th Legion. In Britain they must rally the troops (who have turned to a non-violent life of agriculture), so as to fight against the evil warlord Vortgyn (a sinister gold mask wearing villain, who invests in a lot of black clothing).

In the end …
The boy Romulus is raised by Aurelius, who marries Mira (the exotic, Eastern warrior woman). Romulus changes his name to Pendragon and rules all England (wish fulfillment for a 9-10 year old).

<u><b>What I see:</b></u>
Last Legion is one of the best boy movies to have been made in the last decade (no pretentious English kids; smart-ass, potty-mouthed, randy American kids; or want-to-be artsy cinematography). A fun kid fantasy adventure movie made for the age group that the genre was intended for. Why are reviewers comparing it to "300"? It’s nowhere near as slick in look or as gory (swords go in and come out clean as a whistle), and its age demographic is much younger.

<u>Romance … as seen through the eyes of a 10 year old:</u>
There are a lot of longing looks; a mock battle (ala “Red Sonya”, 1985); a kiss; she’s in a pool of water, but you see nothing (like a million other movies of this type); she walks into Aurelius’ tent in a non-see-through/opaque nightgown, they hug and turn the lights off. The movie is like 10 year olds who know there’s something between Mom and Dad, but it’s mysterious mushy stuff they’d rather not think about.

Kid’s undeveloped biological parents die; a big ugly guy gets his finger cut off and a mean looking, bad-guy scar; expendable guy dies; I think buff guy dies; hordes of bad guys die; legions of nobodies die; and the kid kills big-ugly-mean-scar guy to protect Aurelius. Most of it is sped-up and handled off screen; I think I heard a few “Aaaiiieeee”s; I’ve seen worse, and more realistic, in Disney “G” rated classics.
re: Lost Relic from Past Cinema: Last LegionWednesday, August 22, 2007 - 2:37:42 AM

In Conclusion:
I consider this movie’s violence: cheesy kid action; but parents should watch any movie they show their kids, before they show it to their kids. The unfortunate thing is, with an uncalled for PG-13 rating, this movie will probably never reach its intended audience.