Not historical, mildly entertaining5/10
WILDLY historically inaccurate, with some dialogue that will no doubt bring chuckles, this little mini-series still manages to be entertaining. Whether that is due to the acting and action or the goofs made by the producers remains to the individual viewer. What's wrong with this little movie? Let's start with the Huns and their king, Attila. The Huns were a Turko-Mongol race, short, swarthy, and usually with a somewhat bowlegged stance that came from fighting, riding, eating, and even sleeping on horseback. Attila himself was described by many contemporary historical sources as short, squat, a very thin wisp of a beard on his chin, and a flat nose. He was also middle-aged at the time of his great conquests. This army and king as represented in the movie are all basically Caucasians. People, there ARE Turkish/Asiatic actors and extras out there for hire .... and all the women swooning over Gerard Butler in these comments need to balance this with historical fact. The comment that only a "good looking" person could have united/led so many is very amusing - apparently no one has taken a close look at Hitler, Mussolinni, Stalin, or Winston Churchill for that matter. Also, the costumes of these Huns look like Avars, not Hunnish culture. Let's take a look at the Romans - the Empire of the fifth century was VERY different from the empire of the great caesars ... yet the uniforms and civilian dress of the Rome shown here looks no later than the time of Septimius Severus. Sorry, but the horse-hair helmets and leather skirts of the military tribunes were long past - the Romans of this time were wearing breaches and what was left of the legions was highly barbarized and calvary-emphasized. The togas of the civilians had become much more coarse and simple by that time, also. The Empire was basically Christianized by then, too - yet this miniseries depicts paganism as rampant. Another problem was that there just weren't enough extras to make the battles scenes believable. The Huns formed "hordes" - and these were not patrol-sized groups of a hundred horseman riding around - historians show these armies numbered nominally around 60,000. And the main battle - somewhere near modern Chalons or Troyes - the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains - had the combatants numbering somewhere between 300,000 to half a million. Showing this battle to be between a couple of hundred men was anticlimatic in the extreme. Good camerawork could have avoided this ... see BRAVEHEART, FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, SPARTACUS, or CLEOPATRA. Although many may have felt some of the violence was too much in this film, the reality was FAR worse - Attila was mild to those who submitted, but the mass slaughter the Huns committed in battle was rivaled in pre-20th century only by the Mongols of Genghiz Khan. Some cities in Italy were so destroyed that the next generation couldn't accurately find where they existed. Having said all this, I liked the film as a piece of entertainment and taking certain ludicrous errors into consideration, recommend it as a nice diversion. The DVD is nicely authored in 1:77:1 and has some decent extras.