Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Eagle

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for battle scenes and some disturbing images
Profanity:A few scatalogical terms
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Constant peril and violence including swords and spears, many characters injured and killed, surgery scene, killing and eating a raw rat
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date:June 28, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for battle scenes and some disturbing images
Profanity: A few scatalogical terms
Nudity/Sex: None
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking
Violence/Scariness: Constant peril and violence including swords and spears, many characters injured and killed, surgery scene, killing and eating a raw rat
Diversity Issues: A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date: February 11, 2011
DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011

“The Eagle” is an epic story, lavishly filmed, but empty at the core. Without a reason to care about the quest, it does not matter how skillfully the battle scenes are filmed.

It is based on The Eagle of the Ninth a classic book for kids by Rosemary Sutcliff, inspired by the real-life mystery of the Lost Legion of the Roman Army, a 5000-man fighting force that disappeared without a trace around 117 A.D. This is the story of Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum), the son of that division’s leader, who goes on a journey to recapture its standard, the golden eagle of the title. Accompanying him is his slave, Esca (Jamie Bell of “Billy Elliot”), loyal to Marcus Aquila for saving his life, but with divided allegiance because he is a Briton who despises the Romans. When they cross Hadrian’s Wall into Briton territory to retrieve the golden eagle, which side will Esca be on?

Advertisement

 

 

Director Kevin Macdonald (“The Last King of Scotland”) lets his enthusiasm for the material show. The settings and the design details show meticulous care and the combat scenes are dynamic and sometimes powerful. The evolving respect and friendship between the two men does not translate well from the page to the screen and the pacing is episodic where it should be epic. While it may be a worn-out cliche to have people in ancient times speaking in modern but formal English with British accents, it is a convention that communicates very effectively on screen. Macdonald’s decision to have the Romans speaking American-style English (even the British Jamie Bell) and have the Britons speak historically inaccurate and for most people indecipherable Gaelic, gives it a sloppy, Cliff’s notes flavor. This is underscored further by Tatum’s very contemporary look and build and the attire of the Britons — covered with clay and wearing a sort of animal skin jegging.

Advertisement

The biggest problem is that we just do not care whether they retrieve the eagle because they never make a compelling case that it stands for honor, either relative or absolute. It is the symbol of a failed invasion that does not represent valor or integrity. The film cannot free itself from the modern sensibility of its makers and its audience and therefore cannot demonize the Britons or otherwise justify the Roman attempt to capture and enslave them. The film tries to portray the warriors as heroes next to the politicians who stay at home fighting with words instead of swords. But it just comes across as another pointless road trip bromance. Parents should know that this is a very violent film with frequent sword and spear battle violence, many characters and some animals injured and killed, young boy killed by his father, graphic wounds and surgery scene, and some strong language.Family discussion: How do these characters define “honor?” Why didn’t Esca fight the gladiator? Why did Marcus Aquila save his life?If you like this, try: the book by Rosemary Sutcliff and look online at the theories about what happened to the lost legion.

Previous Posts

Contest: Reading Rainbow DVD -- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Levar Burton and Reading Rainbow present four classic episodes on this new DVD from PBS Kids. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie read by Beth Howland, ...

posted 3:49:25pm May. 29, 2015 | read full post »

The New Yorker's Actress Profiles: Tilda Swinton, Angela Bassett, Katharine Hepburn, and More
The New Yorker has created a section with some of its best profiles of actresses, including Angela Bassett, Julia Roberts, Diane Keaton, Tilda Swinton, and Katharine Hepburn. They are a treat to read and will inspire you to check out or revisit ...

posted 8:00:38am May. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Wish You Well
[jwvideo vid='sTOlso40' pid='GvkPWNBE'] Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, and Josh Lucas star in Wish You Well, a coming-of-age tale based on the best-selling novel by David Baldacci, who also wrote the screenplay. Foy plays 12-year-old Louisa, ...

posted 10:24:09pm May. 28, 2015 | read full post »

San Andreas
Another summer blockbuster-by-the-numbers, another dad who needs redemption and re-connection with his family, and the only way he can get ...

posted 5:55:26pm May. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Aloha
Writer/director Cameron Crowe presents us with an attractive and talented but messy and compromised hero in "Aloha," and asks us to root ...

posted 5:37:27pm May. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.