Sunday, 10 April 2011

Film Review: The Eagle

Rating: 5.9/10

This film is based on a popular children's novel and it shows.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Writers: Jeremy Brock (screenplay), Rosemary Sutcliff (novel)
Music: Atli Örvarsson
Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland
Runnig Time: 114 Minutes
Age Restriction: 13 VL

The Eagle tells the story of Roman British commander Marcus Aquila. He accepts the ambitious but dangerous task of finding the Ninth Legion's Golden Eagle standard in a ravaged area of Britain. His father happened to have lost this object when he too did battle in Britain.

British children enjoyed the book upon which the film is based - The Eagle of the Ninth - because it created a romantic idea of Britain during Roman times.

The film may appeal to them for the same reason. Adolescents may also appreciate watching Channing Tatum, who made his breakthrough in Step Up. He's not the most convincing actor around but he does macho man with an attitude fairly well, and is becoming part of the next group of action men, post Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren.

The movie also features Jamie Bell as Aquila's guide. Bell was the big child star of Billy Elliot in 2000. Since then, he's shown up in a few average "young-chap" roles in the likes of King Kong and Jumper. His performance as Esca in The Eagle is just another one of these supporting roles. He's set to take the lead again in The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. With Steven Spielberg directing, I expect something special from Bell.

As far as The Eagle goes, Tatum and Bell are fairly solid, trying not to be cheesy but rather serious, as the film tries to reach the level of Gladiator.

Unfortunately, the director has taken his main character's bromance a tad far, and they just become corny.

Verdict: The Eagle runs out of steam before the reel ends. Audiences may just get bored.

Wait for the DVD or catch it on television and don't pay too much

Alistair Anderson

The Eagle is now showing at South African cinemas.
Picture courtesy of

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