Film Review: Channing Tatum, Roman Empire Land in ‘The Eagle’

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CHICAGO – In ancient times, history was at the end of a sword point and edge of the world. “The Eagle” tells of a Roman Empire battle in those times, and Channing Tatum plays a general bent on restoring his family name. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

This is rousing war and adventure tale, with a quest not unlike the holy grail. With all of the actors speaking the king’s English, except for the villains, this is an old-fashioned sword and sandal epic that bases itself in actual events, in a transition for a once-mighty kingdom.

Channing Tatum is Marcus Aquila, a general of the Roman army assigned to the outlands of the empire, where England is now. His father had previously invaded the Highlands with the Ninth Legion to conquer the rest of the isle, and was met with an opposing force that not only defeated them, but captured the powerful symbol of the empire’s might, a golden eagle. Marcus has trained to avenge his father’s name, and proves his mettle with the first battle.

Injured in the fray, he meets his Uncle (Donald Sutherland), whose job is to nurse him back to health. His recovery is fraught with guilt, feeling that he had failed in completing the reason why he took the assignment in the first place. The tide turns when he refuses to allow an English slave named Esca (Jamie Bell) to die in a tournament, and takes him under his own rule. Marcus formulates a plan to take Esca as an escort back to the Highlands, beyond a wall that Rome has designated as the “end of the world.” He will recapture The Eagle.

Esca and Marcus travel over the dangerous territory, and begin to discover the secrets of the lost Ninth Legion, as well as what happened to Marcus’ father. The danger increases as they get closer within The Highlands, encountering a warrior tribe that desires to completely destroy the Roman influence on their land. The result of the encounter has consequences for history.

“The Eagle” opens everywhere on February 11th. Featuring Channing Tatum, Donald Sutherland, Tahir Rahim, Jamie Bell and Denis O’Hare. Screenplay by Jeremy Brock, directed by Kevin Macdonald. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Eagle”

Enemy Mine: Tahar Rahim (left), Jamie Bell (center) and Channing Tatum in ‘The Eagle’
Enemy Mine: Tahar Rahim (left), Jamie Bell (center) and Channing Tatum in ‘The Eagle’
Photo credit: Kevin Bernstein for Focus Features

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Eagle”

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