Movie review: ‘The Eagle’
Wed, Feb 9, 2011 (4:43 p.m.)
Positioned awkwardly between serious historical drama and bloody action movie, The Eagle, set in Roman-occupied Britain in 140 A.D., doesn’t end up succeeding as either, although it has its moments. The bonding between a stoic Roman soldier (Channing Tatum) and his Briton slave (Jamie Bell) isn’t particularly compelling, thanks mostly to Tatum’s typical block-of-granite performance. The soldier’s quest to recover the title object, an eagle-shaped gold standard once carried by his father and lost in the wilds of northern Britain along with an entire Roman legion, is similarly flat, and Tatum doesn’t have the presence to make it seem as meaningful as it should. But the barbarians the duo has to face are menacing and eerie, the scenery is reasonably majestic, and the action sequences, while jumbled, can be exciting. There’s just too much dull plot to get through on the way there.