The main weakness of the film is the lack of character development between the two main characters. Even though Marcus saved Esca’s life, there needed to be more personal interaction between the two. By the end of the story, the two have become friends, but many of the steps that took them to that place were nowhere to be found. And ultimately it makes what could have been a really good film just above average.
The Blu-ray disc is presented in 1080p High Definition Widescreen 2.35:1 with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Warm colors and strong shadows are main elements of the film's look. Clarity is sharp, revealing a lot of detail and texture. Grain and crush are infrequenty pervasive. The soundtrack offers an immersive experience. All the elements (dialogue, music, effects) are individually well rendered and the mix of them strikes the right balance. There are two versions, theatrical and unrated, on the disc, and a digital copy is available. Bonus Features include a commentary by director Kevin Macdonald and three others.
The “Alternate Ending” shows Marcus placing The Eagle in the funeral pyre for the men of the Ninth while giving a speech at how it belongs to the men and not Rome. Thankfully, this was not the ending they went with because it would have been so out of character after everything the two men went through to retrieve it.
Two “Deleted Scenes” were edited out of the film. Neither added anything and were good choices for removal. The first scene involves Marcus challenging a local Britain man to a chariot race. It’s a frivolous scene that had nothing to do with the story and would have been a waste of time. The second scene is an altered version of the pig gutting scene with Esca giving an account of his family history. It’s just an average scene and lacked the emotion and intensity of the scene that was left in the film when Esca confronts Marcus about his enslavement and the death of his people.
“The Eagle: The Making of a Roman Epic” follows the cast and crew as they go through the steps of choosing the locations, creating the sets and choreographing the fight scenes.