Monday, April 23, 2012

Spartacus: Vengeance (a Starz original series)

Spartacus: Vengeance. I just finished watching the final episode of this series and I feel empty. I feel like I want to continue the series now and not wait until whatever comes next!

Overall I think this chapter of the series was pretty good. I'm addicted to the complete series so far but sometimes I wish they were consistent with the "reality" of war. There were times where I was like "WTF?" and others when I was like "What BS!" A few things in particular irritated me.

First, I have no idea how Ashur is still alive after the first "Blood and Sand" since "Gods of the Arena" was technically a prequel. He was a sneaky, wounded weakling of the House of Batiatus' ludus in "Sand" and didn't do much fighting in or out of the colosseum during "Arena" as a gladiator or anything else. Then in "Vengeance," he become this force to be reckoned with in the art of fighting. How many times he had "almost died" moments and others when he was kicking ass and taking names of not only Roman soldiers but some of Spartacus' army. To that I say, "Bull-fucking-shit!" He's a mouse...keep him as such. [Spoiler alert!]: I'm glad Ashur finally got his head removed, literally, but it was too damn late to finally happen in episode 10.

Second, the consistency of how quickly someone is killed by a sword one time versus someone else another is lacking. I mean how many times have we seen Spartacus, Crixus or one of the other "free" slaves slice a Roman soldier through their armor through their gut and they are near dead or dead afterwards. But then certain characters last a little longer when the same style of slicing and dicing is used on them. For instance, Crixus was captured and was to fight for his life (and ultimate death) in the arena. He is sliced and looks like stabbed a few times where you think he is a goner but then Spartacus and his crew show up to rescue him. Crixus fights his way out of the arena on his own two feet...miraculously recovered/cured. There's another scene in episode 8 or 9 where there's this Egyptian hired hand working with the Romans who survives such a strike...twice. First, Oenomaus/Doctore is fighting the Egyptian and he slices and dices this guy pretty well. As he should, because he's a former gladiator and trainer of winning gladiators such as Gannicus, Crixus and Spartacus. All of a sudden the Egyptian fights back and stabs Oenomaus in the hand then follows through to push the knife to his eye. Oenomaus doesn't die but he is now wounded. A few weeks pass and we're in episode 10. The final all-out-attack on the Roman camp by Spartacus' army. Oenomaus and the Egyptian meet again. Oenomaus once again does well against the Egyptian. Some scenes later and the Egyptian impales Oenomaus in the gut with a sword. Gannicus rages. Gannicus slices the Egyptian in the abdomen, he's not wearing armor, and the Egyptian is still able to fight back strong enough. Again, this is not consistent with when they slice and dice the Roman soldiers through their armor and they are totally/mostly incapacitated. I'm just asking for some consistency.

Thirdly, more spoiler alerts: Mira is killed near the beginning of episode 10. She's impaled by a battle axe thrown by one of the Roman soldiers during a failed attempt by some not-so-smart members of Spartacus' merry men...and women. Before her death, she's learned to use a bow fairly well. The consistency falters when she can hit some guys in whatever place she choses in other scenes with no problem but then others she mishits in an arm or overshoots or some shit like that. She supposedly has fairly good eyesight because she's warned many of the army of people about to attack but somehow she missed the big, fucking battle axe that is thrown at Spartacus. Spartacus dodges out of the way just in time to see it impale Mira in the upper left chest to shoulder area. That's gotta suck!

Anyway, I obviously overlooked things like these because I watched the entire series and the other two. It's just, damn, I wish sometimes the content editors would do their freaking job!

For some reason, I feel like Liam McIntyre/Spartacus is not masculine/manly/battle-torn enough to come across as a true gladiator compared to Andy Whitfield/Spartacus. Maybe it's because Andy was first but who knows.

Anyhow, I recommend the series purely for the graphic nature of the storytelling.

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