The Last LegionWhen I first read about The Last Legion starring Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley I have to admit I was excited to see the movie. The premise is based on the life of the mythical sword Excalibur prior to coming into the hands of King Arthur in the lands of old Britain. Indeed, it sounded like a intriguing storyline, and being at least partially focused on the great Excalibur I figured the movie would be ripe with good fight scenes. The movie, however, fell far short of my expectations.

To begin, the plot of the movie is quite unspectacular. While the concept of a prequel to the various Merlin and Arthur mythologies is a fun idea, The Last Legion’s plot simply does present as engaging. The story follows a newly ascended young emperor and his praetorian guard around as they flee to Britain in the aftermath of the sacking of Rome. Colin Firth plays Aurelius, the captain of the guards, and does a fair job of portraying an elite warrior. Ben Kingsley, who can usually be counted on for an excellent performance, takes on the role of Ambrosinus, who is analogous to Merlin, but only manages a mediocre performance.

The acting and the plot, however, could have been redeemed by quality action and fight scenes were they not so utterly abysmal. I do not exaggerate. While the rest of the movie passes for something worth watching on a lazy Sunday afternoon the fight scenes offer nearly nothing in terms of entertainment value. Unfortunately this brought the movie down to about a 5 out of 10 on the whole.

As for the special features, they’re of some interest. These include:

  • Deleted Scenes w/Optional Commentary
  • Fight Scene Choreography
  • From the Director’s Sketchbook: A Storyboard-to-Film Comparison
  • Making The Last Legion
  • Commentary by Director Doug Lefler
  • And the Theatrical Trailer

The overall runtime for the movie is 102 minutes, and it was directed by Doug Lefler who also directed Dragonheart: A New Beginning with Christopher Masterson of Malcolm in the Middle. You can check out the film’s website here:

Derek is a college student majoring in Business and History. You can email him at  

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