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The Eagle

The Eagle: Roman Epic with Weak Lead Actor

  • Channing TatumDonald Sutherland...
  • Action & AdventureDrama
  • Kevin Macdonald
reviewed by
Omar Atef
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The Eagle: Roman Epic with Weak Lead Actor

Based on a novel by Rosemary Sutcliff, The Eagle focuses on a young Roman soldier Marcus Aquila (Tatum), the son of the leader
of the Ninth Legion.

Twenty years ago, the legion mysteriously disappeared in Northern England with
thousands of men. To find out the truth behind his father’s disappearance and to recover the eagle standard that belonged to the legion, Aquila decides to pass through the Hadrian Wall into the Northern territory
(Scotland) with the help of his British slave Esca (Bell), who speaks the
local language and can help him find his way. Despite the disapproval of his uncle (Sutherland),
Aquila embarks on this dangerous journey
with Esca, who hates Romans and could very well kill Aquila at any point.

Any epic film about a hero seeking to redeem himself and
reclaim his family’s honour is expected
to have solid acting, kill-or-die battle scenes and great cinematography as
well as a powerful musical score.

It’s fair to say that all these elements are present in The Eagle. Though the cast’s performances are solid, it’s the main leading man who’s obviously miscast. Channing Tatum was charming in his own way in
romantically inclined films such as Step
, and he proved his ability to carry an action film like G.I. Joe, which is probably why he got the
lead role in The Eagle. That being
said, the role of Marcus Aquilla is just not suitable for him, and he fails to
be convincing as the fearless leader. His American accent doesn’t help either.

Jamie Bell is good as Esca, a force that Aquila must reckon with despite Esca’s inferior status as a slave, while Sutherland and Strong give
even more impressive performances despite their brief appearances.

Sword fights, chase sequences and epic battles are all
provided, but they’re just average and fail to take your breath away. Close-ups
and heavy edited shots don’t improve the quality of the action scenes, which
come across as somewhat predictable; we’ve seen these scenes before in so
many similar films.

’s main two highlights are the cinematography and
soundtrack. Almost every scene is beautifully filmed by Oscar-winning
cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog
, highlighting the stunning scenery. The soundtrack is moving
and compelling, providing an emotional connection to the film, which the lead actors
fail at.

The Eagle might be
enjoyed by audiences looking for epic adventures with dramatic battle scenes.
If you can get by Tatum’s acting, then this is likely to be a passable viewing

Like This? Try

Clash of the Titans, Gladiator, Robin Hood

360 Tip

The name Aquila is the Latin word for eagle.

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