Fall of an Empire: The Story of Katherine of Alexandria *Dir: Michael Redwood. With: Nicole Keniheart, Peter O’Toole, Joss Ackland, Steven Berkoff. 110 mins. Cert: 15.
Here’s one of those bizarro Sunday projects the British film industry emits with baffling regularity: a foolhardy attempt to revive the Roman epic in Cyprus on a budget Xena: Warrior Princess might have snarled at. Some logistical nous lurks behind its rhubarbing barbarians, but it’s almost eerily lacking in drama or spectacle: gathered old boys (Berkoff, Ackland, O’Toole) and Sam Beckinsale from London’s Burning enter and exit, declaiming from a none-too-rigorous script while keeping one eye on the production accountant. Casting scuppers its proposal of Katherine [sic] as a revolutionary thinker: novice Nicole Keniheart’s super-awkward, slow-motion line delivery suggests she might need help doing the wordsearch.
Fall of an Empire opens in selected cinemas from Monday.