‘The Eagle’: Review Revue – Wall Street Journal says critics are generally taking to The Eagle

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.

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