Kevin Macdonald’s The Eagle, set in 140 C.E. in modern-day Scotland, tracks Roman veteran Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) as he and a Celtic slave named Esca (Jamie Bell) travel into the wilds beyond Hadrian’s Wall. Their goal? To uncover the fate of Rome’s vanished Ninth Legion, and to find the golden eagle standard belonging to it that Aquila’s father, the legion’s former commander, lost 20 years prior. The film, based on the popular 1950s YA novel The Eagle of the Ninth, was subjected to a name change and delayed by the emergence of another film about the “lost legion,” Centurion, which saw limited release in the U.S. last August. But now, released to little fanfare in the pre-Oscar vacuum of late winter, the film seems poised for defeat; although featuring glorious visuals and some great turns from its supporting cast, The Eagle is unfortunately nothing exceptional.
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