Import Blu-Ray/Region All pressing. The Last Legion is a reason to rejoice for action fans who prefer their battle scenes to be composed of flesh and blood rather than megabytes. Based on the novel by Valerio Manfredi, this is a sword-and-sandal epic that deftly weaves a tale of the fall of the Roman Empire with myth and magic, giving us plenty of swordplay and liberal doses of knowingly corny humor. In Rome of 476 A.D., 12-year-old Romulus Augustus (Thomas Sangster) is to be crowned emperor at the same time that barbarian king Odoacer (Peter Mullan) arrives with his fierce warriors--led by brutish Wulfila (Kevin McKidd)--to slaughter everyone in sight. With his family dead, young Romulus is captured and taken, along with his teacher--the wise mystic Ambrosinus (Ben Kingsley)--to the island of Capri. Learning that the Byzantine Empire has offered a safe haven for Romulus, surviving Roman soldier Aurelius (Colin Firth) teams up with fierce female warrior Mira (Aishwarya Rai) and sets out to retrieve the boy. Deceit on the part of the Byzantines, however, necessitates that Aurelius change direction for Britannia, home of the last safe outpost for Romans.
Swordfights, battles, and betrayal fuel The Last Legion, which tells the story of the last emperor of Rome: a slight 12-year-old boy who is a descendent of Julius Caesar. Protected by commander Aurelius (Colin Firth) and guided to an extent by the wizard Ambrosinus (Ben Kingsley), Romulus (Thomas Sangster) is an unlikely leader. Too inexperienced to rule wisely, he also shows little of the fortitude and courage needed to be a great warrior. After Romulus finds Caesar's sword--the legendary excaliburnus--he begins a search for the fabled last legion that will help him save Rome. Directed by Doug Lefler and produced by Dino De Laurentiis, the film has a clunky feel, thanks to uneven dialogue and fight sequences that are tepid at best. Portraying a female warrior, Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai is a beauty but unconvincing in her athletic skills. Kingsley makes the most of his role, chewing up the scenery and doing the best he can with some laughable lines. But Firth is out of his element here. More thinking man than action hero, the charming Brit is sorely miscast in this movie, which would've benefited from having better CGI animation and, just as importantly, a more developed script. With its broad strokes and lack of character development, The Last Legion actually would've worked better as a half-hour Saturday morning cartoon than a feature-length epic. --Jae-Ha Kim --Amazon.com