Spartacus is an attempt to remake 300 as a TV show with a significantly lower budget. It’s a speculation in sex and violence. All the outdoor scenes are filmed in front of a green screen very close to the actors, and it shows.
But a bit into the second hour it starts to work, mainly because of four people.
John Hannah who plays Batiatus, the owner of the gladiators school.
Lucy Lawless plays a wicked, wicked woman and I mean that in the best of ways. She got that glimmer in her eyes we remember and love from Xena. She plays Lucretia, Batiatus playful wife.
Peter Mensah plays Doctore, the whip-wielding harder-than-nails trainer of the Gladiator school.
I would say Newcomer Andy Whitfield, who plays Spartacus pulls parts of it off, even if I don’t get the real hero vibe. He gets better in the second hour.
Spartacus (Andy Whitfield) is a free man who crosses the wrong Roman army leader, is parted from his wife Sura (Erin Cummings) and condemned to die by the hand of gladiators. When he defeats all four of his foes, however, an ambitious owner of a ludus (gladiatorial school) purchases him in hopes of turning Spartacus into a successful and profitable fighter
One thing that annoyed me was the the blood splatter they overused to switch between scenes. The computer generated graphics is so and so, especially the circus view (from the air) was bad. The lack of budget shows there.
This show has a lot of nudity and sex if you like those things. I don’t know if you can say it’s tasteful, but I doubt the romans where. It fits in to the setting and is pretty explicit. It is refreshing that they portrait sexuality as equal opportunity both for men and women. Same sex relations is seen as totally natural. Guess there will be some that will take very public offence with this series, but I say, let them. Sex is fun even on TV.
The blood spatter is epic and stylized even if it never comes close to Kill Bill’s splatter feast. Fight scenes are fierce and realistic and not with too many slow motions and retakes, even if they overdo that in one or two scenes.
It is randy and violent, and I won’t feel too guilty when I watch it.