In “The Eagle,” Director Kevin Macdonald turns an action-packed novel into a gripping movie that explores a young Roman centurion’s drive to redeem his family honor by finding and returning a famed golden eagle to Rome.
The eagle was lost when Flavius Aquila and his legion disappeared in northern Britain 20 years earlier. The younger Aquila’s loyal slave, who hails from Britain, Esca, accompanies him on the brutal journey, and they must cross Hadrian’s Wall and enter the wilds of northern Britain [modern-day Scotland]. In the process they discover the goodness of humanity – and the brutality of it.
Injured in battle, the younger Aquila is tired of suffering because of his father’s loss. He tells a Roman senator he will either find and return the Eagle and the remaining legionnaires, or die trying. He finds the Eagle of the Ninth, learning of his father’s bravery and honor in his final moments of battle. As they flee to safety, the people of the Blue Seal tribe hunt Esca and Aquila for stealing the eagle back. They feel Esca betrayed them. When Aquila’s old injury resurfaces, and he cannot go on, he tells Esca to go without him. Esca says he will not leave unless Aquila frees him. Aquila frees Esca, who then runs away and returns with the remnants of Aquila’s father’s army to make one last stand as Romans against the tribe.
Channing Tatum stars as Marcus Aquila. Tatum isn’t just eye candy like people might assume but has an actual backbone, although he does do a good deal of preening.
Tatum’s character does some brutal things, like stabbing a soldier who couldn’t have been more than 13-years-old. He also does some great things, like saving Bell from certain death in the gladiator ring. He also risks his life to save his men multiple times, and he is an intelligent, great and brave commander, even though in some scenes the audience seems to wonder if he’s going to make a terrible mistake just like his father and shame his family forever.
There was no female lead character at any point in the movie, and the scenes with women were of them either attending gladiatorial games or standing outside silently while the male members of their tribes tramped past.
There was only one noticeable cuss word. However, the movie does include extensive scenes of violence and war. Considering this takes place in Britain when military-minded Rome wanted to conquer the world, it makes sense
The costumes looked as if they received a small budget, and the set design of the houses looked far too modern. The indigenous tribes were portrayed as total savages and were painted light blue, which served to make the Romans look less brutal, but in truth the Romans were extremely vicious and ordered soldiers who let nothing stand in the way of conquering everyone.
Despite a few obvious flaws, I wasn’t asking for my eight dollars back, and neither was anyone else in the theater.
Praying you have faith, hope, and love always,