Typically, when a film delving into the world of an historical era like this, it will usually fall short, with only a few movies being the exception. Whether it being due to the historical inaccuracies or just being a bad film all together, most tumble into the pitfall of coming across as almost silly. While The Eagle may look good and well put together, it is a film that just goes nowhere, and it takes quite a long time to get there.
Twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion and it's coveted Eagle standard in Northern Britain, a newly appoint centurion, Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) seeks to restore his family name by retrieving the lost standard, which was last seen with his father, who lead the Ninth Legion. With the assistance of his slave (Jamie Bell), who happens to hail from Scotland, they set off on a journey which takes them to a land of savage tribes.
The story seemed to have quite a bit of promise and it started off well. But it ultimately just lead to nowhere. It was terribly paced, with a whole lot of nothing happening throughout the entire film. A movie like this needs to have action in it, action that seemed to be promised by the look of the trailer. It just isn't there, save for a scene in the beginning of the film and the climactic ending, which actually had a few shining moment.s
One thing that can be said for Tatum, is that he actually looked the part of a Roman Centurion, but that's where my praises end. He is continually stiff in his acting, though he does try and is seemingly close to breaking free of the stiffness that has hindered him for so long. Jamie Bell, who has a pretty good track record, is one of few shining bits of this movie, but even then a lack-luster script holds him back.
In the final battle of the film, the director toss in a moment of brilliance that adds a bit of rawness to the film: he cuts out all sound, save for the two battling soldiers weapons and their own struggling noises. It is something I haven't seen before and thought it was brilliant. The look of the film is quite stunning, as the cinematography is beautiful to watch and the sweeping landscapes help make the movie look bigger than it actually is.
Unfortunately, yet another promising story falls short and doesn't quite reach the potential that it has; a situation we are seeing all too often as of late. The story does little to pull you in, failing to form a connection between the viewers and the characters, which will doom a film from the get go. It's not a movie that needs to be seen in theaters and would be fine if viewed at home, which is what I'd suggest.