Neil Marshall has a lot to answer for after the abysmally apocalyptic let-down of Doomsday. The promise he showed with Dog Soldiers and The Descent appeared not to translate very well to bigger, action-oriented movies outside of the horror genre. Maybe his talents were limited to smaller tales with limited budgets. Maybe he needed to look to the past to chart his future. Maybe it was time to move on from titles starting with the letter D…

Which brings us to the seemingly long in-production film, Centurion. Marshall wrote and directed this tale about a Roman legion decimated by a guerrilla attack. (Is it me or do the guerrillas in question appear to be ancestors of the face-paint gang from Doomsday?) Seven soldiers survive the attack and find themselves trapped behind enemy lines. Lost and out-manned, the seven are forced to fight their way through the enemy if they ever want to see their homeland again. Check out the trailer below.

Looks pretty sweet doesn’t it? The cinematography is the sharpest and most impressive of Marshall’s career both in the wide shots of vast landscapes and the action scenes. The long shot of the legion on the road as the rolling fireballs come towards them looks very cool. And while the cast doesn’t contain any traditional movie stars I’m extremely happy with all three of the leads. Michael Fassbender (Hunger) and Dominic West (The Wire) are always terrific, and Olga Kurylenko? I’m happy watching her in absolutely anything. It’s also interesting that (unless I’m mistaken) she appears to be the villain of the film… if true it’s an unexpected but welcome turn.

Centurion opens in the UK this April, but as of yet there is no US release date.

What do you think of the trailer? And what’s Marshall’s fascination with face-painting?

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