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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.