"The Eagle" by Yojimbo
Yojimbo - wrote on 03/03/13
A Roman centurion injured in battle is honourably discharged and finds new purpose by seeking out the standard lost by his father's defeated legion twenty years earlier. The Eagle is another example of a Hollywood style period action movie with all the expected ingredients; anachronistic accents, toga clad veteran actors in cameo roles, brutal, gritty action scenes and tales of honour lost and regained through acts of bravery (and extreme violence of course). Channing Tatum is the square-jawed Yankee Doodle Roman who finds an ally in Briton Jamie Bell who inevitably owes him a debt of honour to help him and they go through the “all brave soldiers are brothers underneath” schtick of the modern war film. The early scenes are actually very nicely done with some well shot Celtic scenery and suitably bloody battle scenes but it unfortunately loses its way for the final act. Mark Strong's appearance is vaguely embarrassing as he affects a rather unconvincing American accent, which for a Roman centurion living in Scotland for 20 years, nearly 1500 years before America was discovered is quite a feat. It then all descends into the usual militaristic, rootin' tootin' flag-salutin' bullshit for the finale and our two heroes stride out of the Roman senate, macho quips at the ready like Starskila & Hutchus. Not completely dreadful but from the director of The Last King Of Scotland, I expected better.