The Eagle

"Good"

The Eagle Review


This beefy tale of male bonding is framed by a story loosely based on historical accounts from the 2nd century. The plot may be corny sentiment, but the movie is rousing entertainment, with two engaging leads.

In 140 AD, Marcus (Tatum) arrives in Britain, the far end of the Roman Empire, where he's charged with fending off local insurgents. But he has a secret agenda: to reclaim the golden eagle of the missing ninth legion, which was led by his father. As he recovers from a battle injury, his uncle (Sutherland) buys him feisty slave Esca (Bell). And then when they hear rumours about the eagle's whereabouts, Marcus and Esca set off to Caledonia to retrieve it. And when they meet a savage Seal prince (Rahim), Esca must become the master.

Unsurprisingly, Macdonald films the scenery (of Scotland and Hungary) spectacularly, with Anthony Dod Mantle's visceral camerawork positioning the characters against staggeringly beautiful landscapes. And while Brock's script is packed with speeches about honour and duty, it's the relationship between Marcus and Esca that grabs hold, perhaps because it's played with muscular gusto by Tatum and Bell as two men with daddy issues who essentially fall in love. The film could have been titled Brotherhood of the Skirt.

In this essentially female-free movie, it's all about manliness, with lots of glowering and physique flexing, plus a bit of wild overacting from time to time. Although any gay subtext is of course quickly averted by the next battle sequence or clunky plot element. There's an attempt to add some complexity to the Seals, Britons and Romans, as all are guilty of brutality, although the script carefully drops in something that lets us know who to root for in each scene.

As it goes along, questions about the nature of barbarism and the cruelty of conquest are sidelined for more Hollywood-style priorities like cool make-up and costumes, grisly violence (that pushes the PG-13 barrier), daring feats of bravery and loyalty, and surging emotional sappiness. But through all of this, it's the growing connection between these two men (and the superbly physical and resonant actors who play them) that makes the movie impossible to dislike.



The Eagle

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 114 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th February 2011

Box Office USA: $19.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $39M

Budget: $25M

Distributed by: Focus Features

Production compaines: Focus Features, Film4, Toledo Productions, Twins Financing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 39%
Fresh: 57 Rotten: 91

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Marcus Aquila, as Guern, as Esca, as Aquila, as Lotorius, as Seal Prince, as Claudius Marcellus, as Cradoc, Paul Ritter as Galba, Pip Carter as Servius Placidus, Ned Dennehy as Seal Chief / The Horned One, István Göz as Cohort Centurion, Bence Gerö as Celt Boy / Young Marcus, Zsolt László as Paulus, Julian Lewis Jones as Cassius

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.