Crudely mangling Arthurian legend into Roman history, this creaky swords ’n’ sandals romper trundles forward like a hurriedly upholstered TV movie. No surprise, then, to find director Doug Lefler cut his teeth on ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’. He plays this hokum straight as an arrow as a scrawny, boy-emperor (Thomas ‘Love Actually’ Sangster) tries to find a mythical sword, avenge his parents’ murder and save Rome from marauders led by Peter Mullan. Protecting him are Colin Firth as the gruff commander, Ben Kingsley as the sagely magician and Bollywood siren Aishwarya Rai as a swashbuckling Red Sonja. Bankrolled by the De Laurentiis clan, production values are half-decent, but bar the odd flashes of finger-hacking violence, this is an oafish regression from the epic quest fantasies of ‘Lord of the Rings’ and the blood-rinsed digital canvas of ‘300’.
Cast and crew
Jez Butterworth, Tom Butterworth
Colin Firth Ben Kingsley Aishwarya Rai John Hannah Peter Mullan Kevin McKidd Iain Glen Thomas Sangster Rupert Friend Nonso Anozie Owen Teale Alexander Siddig James Cosmo