Channing Tatum's Roman Empire drama The Eagle emerges beneath the shadow of many other battle epics before it.
Channing Tatum's Roman Empire drama The Eagle emerges beneath the shadow of many other battle epics before it. It begs the question: Can Tatum and his film possibly stack up against benchmarks like Russell Crowe's Gladiator? The movie capitalizes on the opportunity to attract a younger audience with Tatum and his costar Jamie Bell (all grown up since his Billy Elliott days), and with their requisite physiques and boyish exuberance, they intrepidly wield the swords and shields of the time.
Tatum stars as Marcus Aquila, an officer of the Roman army with a lot to prove. His father, an officer before him, had led his soldiers (the ninth legion) into battle in Northern England, never to be seen again. Lost with them was a golden emblem of an eagle, representing the legion and Rome's honor. The mystery surrounding the disappearance of the army unit haunts Marcus for multiple reasons: he grieves the loss of his father and bears the disgrace of his family's name. He's convinced that if he can search out and find the eagle, and figure out what happened to the lost legion, he'll restore his father's honor. It's a plot that may play out well in the novel the film is based on, The Eagle of the Ninth, but Marcus's personal quest isn't compelling on the big screen. Find out why The Eagle doesn't take flight when you read more