The film The Eagle, based on Rosemary Sutcliff‘s The Eagle of the Ninth was released yesterday in the USA and Canada, and of course I (as well as the film-makers) are anxious to see what people make of it. Speakeasy is a Wall Street Journal site covering media, entertainment, celebrity and the arts. It is produced by a senior editor with contributions from the Wall Street Journal staff and others.
They review the reviews:
What do you get when you hire a first-rate director to helm an old-fashioned swords-and-sandals movie? A “rip-snortin’” adventure, in the words of Roger Ebert. Indeed, critics are generally taking to “The Eagle,” which was directed by Kevin Macdonald (”The Last King of Scotland”) and stars Channing Tatum as a square-jawed Roman soldier.Mercifully, “The Eagle” also contains no CGI. Points for that alone. Read what other critics are saying.
“The Eagle is full of action and fleet of foot—it’s a movie of smoky, lowering battlefields and trippy, space-bending flashbacks, pausing only for admiring location shots of Scotland’s wild, craggy vistas. The atmosphere is viscous: Corpses dangle from the trees to spook would-be Roman interlopers, and one almost expects to see a blue-faced Mel Gibson peeking out from behind a bush of wild mountain thyme. [J. Hoberman, Village Voice]
“The story and setting may be ancient, but under the direction of Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), and with a nicely textured screenplay by Macdonald’s Scotland coscreenwriter Jeremy Brock, the vigor is fully modern.” [Lisa Schwarzbaum, EW]
“The Eagle” is a rip-snorting adventure tale of the sort made before CGI, 3-D and alphabet soup in general took the fun out of moviegoing. So much does it evoke the energy of traditional sword-and-shield movies that I had to bring the term “rip-snorting” out of retirement; it’s rarely needed in this era of sleek technology.” [Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times]
“Tatum’s rock-solid build has always suggested “soldier,” even when he was playing a dancer in “Step Up.” But he’s not a commanding presence, especially playing a commander. He throws what weight he can into scenes in which Marcus prays that he doesn’t “dishonor my legion,” and behind such lines as “The Eagle is not a piece of metal. It is ROME.” [Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel]
Source: The Eagle’: Review Revue – Speakeasy – WSJ.