The historical context of the former suggests plundering and raping and all manor of brutal violence. While there is plenty of blood-dripping and flesh-severing (and faces cut in half; oh yes, in medium close-up and facing the camera), there is little onscreen physical trauma inflicted on women. The violence that does occur and does befall female characters either happens offscreen/before the narrative begins or in battle. Only two such females receive sufficient screen-time for the viewer to recognize the eye-violation, flesh wounds, and punches.
The men suffer a great deal. Even outside a “fight” context, the men in Centurion receive very little mercy. Bones break, gashes decorate torsos, internal organs no doubt get bruised. Would I have wanted to see more onscreen violence against women in Centurion? No. Did I not enjoy the agony endured by the men? Hard to say.
The premise of The American didn’t lead me to think that women would necessarily be at risk for injury or indeed be victims of physical wounds. The element of surprise resulted in an over-think layover.
I watched Centurion for hedonistic entertainment and The American for quality entertainment. I was not disappointed with the latter. If he were to make a third film of comparable character study, one could call it the Experiential George Clooney Trilogy (Up in the Air being the first).
For more Centurion images, click here.