The Barbarians

November 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm Leave a comment

The Barbarians is a 1953 Italian movie that was banned until 1959. Why? I have no idea. There is no particularly violent scenes.  There is no nudity. You know what else isn’t in this movie? Barbarians. At least not as I see barbarians. When I think barbarian, I think Conan. Maybe I think of the professional wrestler from the 80s. The barbarians from the Civilation games come to mind. And of course, there is the barbarian character class in D&D. The “barbarians” in this movie are actually soldiers of Spain under King Charles V.

All I knew from the you tube description was barbarians attack Rome and women. I figured this movie would have something to do with the Fall of the Roman Empire. No, this movie is based on fasinating historical events from 1527.  I wish the movie was as interesting as the historial events that it is based on. Long story short, the Spanish invaded and captured Rome. Then a group of Romans drove them out, liberating the city, against all odds. The Italian title of this movie is The Sack of Rome. Sack being like attacked, not like something you keep potatoes in.

One of the biggest problems with this movie might be you tubes fault. The dialogue is really hard to hear. Everyone speaks so softly and mumbles so much, I don’t know if it would have mattered.  The Barbarians was so hard to follow because I had a hard time figuring out what everyone was saying. Even with that, this isn’t a particularly interesting movie. There are a lot of long drawn out talking scenes and piss poor performances. There are some movies where the acting conveys all you need to know. This is not one of those movies. Everyone seems to be uninterested in what is going on and what anyone is saying. If the people in the movie don’t care about what is going on, why should I?

The one scene I found effective was the battle scene, the sacking of Rome if you will. For the time, it was pretty well done. The sword play was excellent. The effects were believable. It looks like they put all their time and energy into having a good looking action scene and just forgot about the rest of the movie. From what I can gather, the technology they use is pretty faithful for a 16th century castle invasion. The scene would have more emotional impact if I cared about anyone who was fighting in it.

I wouldn’t say this is a horrible movie. It’s just really dull and hard to follow. The battle scene alone isn’t reason enough to watch The Barbarians. I’d say just watch the Helms Deep battle from The Two Towers instead. The most frustrating thing for me is the title. Don’t promise barbarians then not deliver barbarians.


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