TV review: Spartacus: Vengeance

Jesse Tigges, Columbus Alive

Liam McIntyre is in the unenviable position of replacing Andy Whitfield (who died of cancer) as Spartacus. He does an admirable job, and the supporting cast is solid as the battle moves from the gladiator arena to a full-blown war, but …

There's enough full-frontal nudity - male and female - and hardcore sex acts to make Skinemax blush, as well as the most blood-splattering, grotesque "300"-style combats ever. I'm not averse to either, but it takes you out of the story, and it feels as though it's just for shock value.

As the freed gladiators and slaves face a powerful enemy - Roman commander Gaius Claudius Glaber (Craig Parker), the man responsible for the death of Spartacus' wife - the show considers the high cost of revenge. But it's hampered by all of that sex and violence.

"Spartacus: Vengeance"

10 p.m. Friday on Starz

2.5 stars