No Hitting?

I watched Centurion (Neil Marshall, 2010) last Friday and The American (Anton Corbijn, 2010) on Sunday.  I shan’t compare the quality of the two as films, but something about them has been nagging me.

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.

For more L’Americano pix, click here and here.

5 thoughts on “No Hitting?

  1. bronsonfive

    So you liked The American then? I kept waiting for something to happen. It felt like I watched George Clooney walk up and down stairs or through halls for 2 hours. It was just a tad too predictable.

    1. sittingpugs Post author

      I had seen a couple previews for it but none to give me expectations of liking it. I didn’t think there’d be any bare bosoms or bottoms. I had no idea what the priest said about 35% of the time; there were scenes that made me think, “damnit, should’ve gone to the bathroom just then.”

      I liked the focus on pedestrian activities. He never went to the bathroom or brushed his teeth (I don’t think), but I liked the walking around.

      With minor modifications in either theme or plot, L’Americano could’ve been a decent companion piece to In Bruges or Le samourai.

  2. jammer5

    I’ve pretty much given up on Centurion type movies. I thought Gladiator the best, as it had a historic story line as well as great acting. But then again, I thought The Thirteenth Warrior a great movie as well.

    I’m on the fence on seeing The American. I’ll probably rent it someday, but not a priority. I do think Georges comedy movies his best. Burn after reading and O Brother, Where Art Thou, in my opinion, were seriously funny. Then again, it’s the Coen brothers.

    1. sittingpugs Post author

      The Thirteenth Warrior! I liked that one. Historically set epics with a narrative focus on treachery and revenge are another guilty pleasure…right alongside certain slasher films.


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