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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Eagle heads into uncharted, yet familiar territory

Marcus+Flavius+Aquila+%28Tatum%29+heads+into+uncharted+British+forests+to+find+The+Eagle+of+the+Ninth+to+regain+his+family%E2%80%99s+honor+in+the+recent+release+The+Eagle.%0D%0APhoto+courtesy+Focus+Features
Marcus Flavius Aquila (Tatum) heads into uncharted British forests to find The Eagle of the Ninth to regain his family’s honor in the recent release The Eagle. Photo courtesy Focus Features

By Ciaran Lambert/tr news editor

Nothing says Romans with British accents like American-made period pieces. And The Eagle is no exception.

Marcus Flavius Aquila (Tatum) heads into uncharted British forests to find The Eagle of the Ninth to regain his family’s honor in the recent release The Eagle.
Photo courtesy Focus Features

This movie, based on The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff, offers action, adventure, thrills and horrible accents.

In the film, Channing Tatum plays Marcus Flavius Aquila, a young centurion who has just been given his first command of a garrison that’s stationed in the dangerous unknown world of Britain. Aquila is not liked right away. However, he is the son of the centurion who lost Rome’s famed Eagle of the Ninth battalion in Britain 20 years before the film begins.

After Aquila is severely injured in an attack on his garrison, he is taken to his uncle, played by Donald Sutherland, who has retired in Britain. While there, he saves the life of a young slave named Esca, played by Jamie Bell, and the two head past Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman equivalent of the end of the world, and into uncharted territory to find the Eagle to reclaim Aquila’s family honor.

This premise seems over-done. However, director Kevin Macdonald tells this story of redemption in a way that not many have before. Both Aquila and Esca long for redemption and freedom but in different ways.

Aquila longs to regain his family’s honor and free himself of the black mark left on him by his father. Esca wants to redeem himself in the eyes of the world and become a free man.

The road trip hits a snag as Brigantines capture them and Esca, revealed to be British royalty, claims Aquila is his slave. It’s 300 meets Trading Places.

Tatum’s performance is that of a strong soldier, a role that has become second-nature to him as he played a soldier in Stop-Loss and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Aquila commands with power but has a respect for his garrison and even fights to save them after they are attacked. Tatum even plays Aquila’s weakness with a passion and makes him a character to be admired.

Bell, who was previously in Jumper, plays Esca as stoic. He doesn’t argue with Aquila while he is in Roman Britain, but when the two are forced to work together to survive, Bell becomes more vocal and passionate. Bell also shows off his accent and at certain points speaks in Gaelic.

Tatum and Bell’s characters display a heavy respect for each other and at points, one might think that The Eagle is actually a Roman/British bromance.

For a low-budget film, The Eagle features a large, talented cast and earns its wings with action, drama and bromantic passion that makes it one worth watching.

Besides who doesn’t want to hear Romans yell out in British accents.

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