Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report and Action-Flix.com readers. With the quarantine running on two months now, I am always on the lookout for new films to watch, thanks to Bai Ling, I heard about a new film called 'The Legion'
Supposedly inspired by true events, the synopsis: “Nero's reign. The invasion of Parthia has been a fiasco. Two Roman legions have been brought to a stand still in the snowy mountains of Armenia, and the men are dying slowly in the cold. The rest of the Roman army is in Syria, only two weeks march away but the mountains swarm with Parthian patrols. Noreno, a half-Roman, is entrusted the mission of crossing the mountains to ask for help. However, he might not be the best option, he's an expert runner, but he despises Rome. “
The cast of 'The Legion' includes Vladimir Kulich as Marcus, Mickey Rourke as Corbulo, and Bai Ling as Amirah. An eclectic mixture of talent, yet the film feels a bit smaller in scope than it needs to be. For a sword and sandals type of film, though there is action and peril, it seems the characters move through the film at a very relaxed pace. The music is quite good, setting the tone, but seems like the entire film needed more action and less dialogue, During the talking scenes characters have time to stand around and have a dialogue all the while being supposedly chased. The tension level is high when a character scales a cliff, and the cinematography is quite amazing, almost impossible to believe.
The scene drags on a bit too long though, and then it is followed by a more relaxed pace, and a monologue.
Director/Producer Jose Magan, who also served as one of the film's writers, seems to enjoy the genre, and I will say that the visuals on 'The Legion' are quite strong, opting for outside shots rather than green screen for some of the film. Obviously there are budget constraints, but the quest, a short cut two week march to found support for their army. The countryside in Spain, where The Legion was filmed serves as a nice backdrop for the quest.
As far as the acting, just seems like the characters are kind of reading their lines, not really pushing as hard as they can for tilm. Marta Castellvl has a great first scene, actually I kind of wish she was in the film more. I like her character as she shows a bit more quiet intensity and emotional range. Less is more and often dialogue is not needed to convey emotion. She assists the weary traveler, remaining silent and stoic.
The quest to find help is the focus on the film, I just wantd to see more plot deveopments and complications, save for the random enemy and challenging terrain. Is the movie bad, no it is just far to relaxed and laid back to be an enjoyable action film. Yes there is some battles, just too much down time.
I really like Mickey Rourke, in The Legion he literally is performing dialogue, which is a bit detached from the film, basically a monologue, and it seems it could have been inserted into any film of this period, only by changing the names. He has has a scene in the end, which he drops an F bomb, quite sure F bombs are not used in 67AD and probably not much English either in Rome and Syria, where the movie takes place.
Bai Ling has a cool scene in the end, she plays some sort of Mistress yet an empress, gotta love Ms Ling, she is sultry and always delivers some crazy lines. Again Bai Ling is a minor character that needed more screen time.
Overall 'The Legion' is average film, I cannot say I recommend buying this, but as a lazy streaming afternoon, well, it may be OK. 'The Legion' rates a slightly disappointing 5 out of 10. To rent or buy, go to Amazon: