Review: 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' shines with Mensah, Bennett, Tarabay
Starz prequel miniseries, 'Spartacus: Gods of the Arena' is on steroids visually.
More flesh, both in unctuous carnal pose, and in crimson spurting decline - as beheading, disemboweling, graphic neck artery slicing is slow-mo - so every sinew and tendon is lovingly displayed for your vicarious viewing pleasure. This makes us all part-Coliseum throng, watching the biggest spectacle of ancient Rome and its Empire unfurl in HD.
“Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” stars Dustin Clare, John Hannah, Lucy Lawless, Peter Mensah, Manu Bennett, and Jaime Murray. It will premiere on Starz on January 21st, 2011 at 10 ET/PT, 9 CST.
Breasts and merkins abound, the requisite gay Gladiator moment occurs as Barca (Antonio Te Maioho, alive in the prequel) has his beefy paramour plant one on him during a ludus pow-wow in one scene for the premiere episode.
Some highlights from the article:
"Gods" tells the story of Batiatus (John Hannah) and his scheming wife, Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) as the center characters, who have "good" Solonius (Craig Walsh-Wrightson), Asher (Nick Tarabay) and a pre-"Doctore" Peter Mensah as Oenomaus - who is the juice of this series - by their side at the ludus.
Mensah's Oenomaus is a Gladiator, not the whip-cracker we met in season one, and he plays this role with a lightness and happiness absent in the Doctore role where we first encountered him. His Oenomaus has conjugal visits with his slave wife; he is clearly in love with her and happy.
Also great to see Asher (Nick Tarabay) restored as a vital gladiator in training, and we see the beginning of his bitter hatred with Crixus, born from their less-than-optimal first meeting. Tarabay is a compelling actor and he, along with Bennett and Mensah, are the saving graces for me in a series noticeably lacking the talents of Whitfield and Viva Bianca (Ilithyia).