Friday, October 2, 2009

The Last Legion (2009)

Title : The Last Legion
Director : Doug Lefler
Genre : Action | Adventure | Fantasy | War
Cast : Colin Firth,Ben Kingsley,Aishwarya Rai
See : Trailer

Synopsis :
The film is narrated by Ambrosinus, native to Britain, who knows of a legend concerning the sword of Julius Caesar, which was hidden away from evil men. It begins shortly before the coronation of Romulus as Emperor in 460.

Having traveled through much of the known world in search of Caesar's sword, Ambrosinus has then become Romulus's tutor. A Druid, he at times gives the impression he is a magician, but his "magic" is just trickery. Romulus's father Orestes apparently rules Rome but is not Emperor himself.

On the day before the coronation, Odoacer, commander of the barbarian Goths allied with Rome, demands a third of Italy from Orestes, but is rebuffed. The same day, Romulus meets the general of the Nova Invicta Legion, Aurelianus Caius Antonius called "Aurelius".

The night after Romulus is crowned, Rome is attacked by the Goths. Most of Aurelius's men, pledged to protect the emperor, are killed, though Aurelius is only stunned and left for dead. Orestes and his wife are killed by Odoacer's lieutenant Wulfila, who captures Romulus.

Next day, Odoacer, now ruler of the Western Empire, plans to have Romulus killed. However, Ambrosinus convinces Odoacer to spare the boy. Instead, Romulus is exiled to Capri along with Ambrosinus, guarded by Wulfila and his men. His prison is a villa constructed more than four centuries earlier by the emperor Tiberius.

With Ambrosinus's help, Romulus discovers Caesar's sword in a hidden chamber within the villa. He comes across a statue of Caesar holding the sword, forged by a Chalybian smith after his military campaigns in Britain. Writing near the statue's feet proclaims the sword was made for "he who is destined to rule". This is interpreted as a prophecy by various characters, and Romulus keeps the weapon.

The two are rescued from Capri by the loyal Aurelius and three surviving legionaries, accompanied by a female Indian warrior from Kerala named Mira, trained in the martial art of Kalarippayattu. They take Romulus to a seaport where the Eastern Roman Empire's emissary (whom Mira works for) and the senator Nestor have promised safe passage to Constantinople. However, they barely escape after they learn the Senate and the Eastern Empire have betrayed them and sided with Odoacer.

Ambrosinus persuades Romulus to seek refuge in Britain, where the Ninth Legion (called the Dragon Legion) may remain loyal, being far from the events. They are followed by Wulfila and his men; the Goth covets Caesar's sword after learning the prophecy. Crossing the Alps and the English Channel, the party travels to Hadrian's Wall and initially find no evidence of the legion until a farmer approaches and reveals he was its commander. With the collapse of Roman support of Britain, the legion had decided to disband and settle as farmers. They also did not want to antagonize the powerful warlord Vortgyn.

Vortgyn also desires the sword of Caesar as he aspires to rule the whole of Britain; after meeting with the Goths, he decides to either capture or kill Romulus as a gesture to Odoacer. Aurelius, wielding Ceasar's sword, leads a few supporters against Vortgyn's forces at Hadrian's Wall. The battle appears hopeless until the rest of the Ninth Legion, having taken up their old Roman arms and uniforms, appear and turn the tide. The two warring sides cease their hostilities when Ambrosinus
kills Vortgyn at a temple near the battlefield. Romulus kills Wulfila with Caesar's sword, avenging his parents. He tells Aurelius that he fought like a dragon, whereupon Aurelius replies that Romulus fought like the son of a dragon.

Repulsed by the deaths in the battle, Romulus heaves away his sword which remarkably pierces a large rock and becomes lodged there. Many years later, Ambrosinus, now known as Merlin, takes a young boy to the battlefield to describe the now legendary events. Merlin, who has visibly aged little since the battle, says that Aurelius married Mira and raised Romulus as their own son, and Romulus became a wise
ruler and adopted the name "Pendragon". The boy, Arthur, recognizes him as his father.

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