Written by Pirata Hermosa
The Eagle takes place in 140 A.D. in Roman-occupied Britain. All but the northern part has been conquered. Twenty years have passed since the Ninth Legion entered the wilderness to defeat the wild barbarians. The legion never returned, all men were presumed dead and more importantly the eagle standard that represented them and the Roman Empire was lost.
Marcus Flavius Aquila (Channing Tatum) is the son of the commander of the Ninth Legion. He has recently been appointed commander of a garrison in Britain. He hopes to restore the honor to his family by becoming a war hero and maybe even one day returning the standard of the Ninth Legion to Rome. His dreams are quickly destroyed as he finds himself receiving an honorable discharge after he is seriously injured in a battle against the barbarians that instigate a sneak attack against his garrison.
As he slowly recovers under the tutelage of his uncle (Donald Sutherland), he begins to dread the life he will lead, no longer being able to soldier. While watching a gladiatorial match against a well-armed gladiator and a barely armed slave named Esca (Jamie Bell), Marcus finds the young man to be noble and brave and decides to spare his life.
Noticing his fondness for the young man, Marcus’ uncle purchases Esca to be his personal slave. Confessing his hatred for all Romans, the slave gives his word that he will repay Marcus for saving his life. This comes in handy when Marcus discovers that The Eagle has been seen in the far north of Britain. Seeing his one chance at restoring his family name, he vows to set forth through Hadrian’s Wall and into the unprotected Highlands of Caledonia. Esca will be his guide through the barbarian lands since he used to be one before he was a slave.
The two men set off on a quest that will ultimately take them to the edges of the known world where they must face the fiercest of all warriors, the Seal People. But along the way they will discover what truly happened to the Ninth Legion and have their relationship of slave and master reversed.
Overall the film is quite entertaining. It’s a different twist on the Epic Quest and manages to have several intense battles without being overly gory. The scene where Marcus must command his troops to build a shield wall in order to rescue the patrol is a very accurate and amazing display of the strength and power of the Roman military.