Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Could a Roman and a slave get along?
The Eagle brings back classic examples of what the sword and sandals genre doesn’t have today. Although it’s not enough to cover its main fault.
The film is directed by Kevin MacDonald who directed The Last King of Scotland and State of Play. Channing Tatum plays Marcus Aquila the son of the commander who famous 9th Legion disappear somewhere in Britain, along with the Famous Golden Eagle a gold statue. He tries to put his father’s name in honor by being a good solider. One day protecting a outpost he gets injured and returns to his uncle’s villa. He saves the life of a slave named Esca played by Jamie Bell and serves him. One day he learns rumors about the Golden Eagle being spotted somewhere in Europe. He takes Esca with him and he goes over the border to look for the eagle.
The film plays a lot to the classic formula brotherhood and learning from each other, different social classes. However the film’s greatest strength is the location and cinematography. The locations are not made in CGI so we are seeing amazing sights. Esca and Marcus are actually trekking through these places. The action scenes as well brings back fighting scenes where you could real people doing things unlike CGI filled movies like 300 or Troy. Where it appears millions but its actually ten behind a green screen. That’s kind of a fresh air for fans of this particular genre. One strange thing but not in bad way there is no romance subplot oddly enough MacDonald was able to avoid that. This is the kind of movie where it doesn’t need that it would just feel forced.
The downfall of The Eagle is the lead performance of Tatum, I’m not saying he’s a bad actor but this is not his kind of movie. He’s very miscast but I do give him props for trying to humanize his character by not making him over the top or a cliche hero. Jaime Bell although is great and really it’s the strength of the movie.
The Eagle might have a weak central performance and a been there done that feel. It’s still a good adventure movie for anybody who’s a fan.