by Nav Qateel
Set in the Northern Roman Province of Pannonia, 475 AD, with Rome's heyday long since passed. In a small fortress town, Urbina Prima (Michelle Lukes), mother of the overbearing Cassius Ricimer Albanis (Oldrich Anton Vojta), wants her son to rule as Emperor. Because her husband, General Maximus (Brian Caspe), refuses to listen to Urbina's talk of treason, she decides to maneuver behind his back.
The Lost Legion opens with an animated intro, in the first of several nods to Zack Snyder's 300. I was a bit disappointed when the text only got as far as informing us that it was the month of August, with no "Saturday Afternoon, About Teatime" a la Life of Brian.
The film had a deceptively small cast of characters, and even the extras were thin on the ground. But directors Kocar and Kubik ran a tight ship when it came to camera positions, keeping the focus on the action. This helped mask the lack of participants, particularly during the fight scenes.
The lack of a budget wasn't too much of a problem, as Kocar and Kubik appeared to overcome the low-budget obstacles that normally dog these types of small production. The costumes were quite sharp, and some of the cast were well-known British thespians, who were more than capable of ably performing the Roman elite. That's not to say all the performances were good. In fact, there were one or two that were rather uneven.
Although many of the set-pieces were well thought out, a few were cringeworthy and contrived. A lot of the time when Urbina was scheming with Argos (Jim High) or talking to Maximus, they'd be having sex. The first scene Argos and Urbina have together, Argos is screwing his slave and eating grapes from another slave, while the pretty blond actress was positioned perfectly for her breasts to be on display. You don't get more contrived than that.
Is The Lost Legion just an excuse to have adults show their wobbly bits? Yes and no. The drama was dry and flat at times and the sex wasn't always sexy. As is fitting for a Roman period film, there was nudity aplenty. The action was quite good and overall it was a middling, yet still entertaining Roman romp. The slow-motion fights and CGI blood was lifted straight from Spartacus: Blood and Sand, but in this case it worked out well. Fans of Roman fare should find The Lost Legion an acceptable entry level effort. However, if you're looking for top-of-the-line production values, you should look elsewhere.Share: