52 Movies: Week 9
The history geek in me really wanted to love The Eagle but, alas, the movie offers little to love.
Which is not to say that The Eagle is a bad movie either. The movie’s setting is a place and time that fascinates me — Roman occupied Britain. Set in 170 AD, The Eagle is the story of a young Roman, Marcus Aquila (played woodenly by Channing Tatum), looking to redeem his family name. Aquila’s father commanded the Ninth Legion who disappeared without a trace while campaigning in Northern Scotland. The loss of the Legion, however, was nothing compared to the loss of the Legion’s standard, the Eagle of Rome. Aquila is determined to learn his father’s fate and, if at all possible, retrieve the Eagle. He is accompanied on his quest by a Esca, a Briton slave played by Jamie Bell.
On paper, this sounds like the makings of a great movie. Sadly, the script is entirely predictable and chock full of earnest corn. With the exception of Tahar Rahim’s excellent performance as a native prince, the acting is similarly earnest and, as eluded to earlier, wooden.
The film is well shot and is a nice throw-back to a time when action movies were filmed in the real world, devoid of CGI and over the top special effects. It’s a shame that the acting and script were not able to do more with the setting.
I’m giving The Eagle 3 stars. It’s mildly entertaining and more disappointing than actively bad.