Blu-ray Review: THE EAGLE
Gladiator films seem to be a dime a dozen, so does the journey film. Oftentimes they can be very long-winded with their dialogue and most often these films are just plain long. What may be one of the more surprising films to hit this genre is THE EAGLE. Not perfect by any means, but better than it should be. On the surface, it doesn’t appear to have a chance at being good. Someone thought it was a good idea to cast Channing Tatum in a movie where he needed to speak in a European accent, at one point Mark Strong appears and he has an American accent (?), and overall it hits some of the same beats you’ve seen before. Deception, misjudgment, redemption, etc. But THE EAGLE has some really nice action sequences and is tightly paced within its 114 minute runtime.
Channing Tatum plays Marcus Aquila, son of the leader of the Ninth Legion, who mysteriously disappeared 20 years before the events in this film, losing with them a sacred golden eagle. Now in command of his own unit, Marcus seeks to redeem his family’s honor by finding the eagle from that lost unit. Early on in his command, though, he is wounded and honorably discharged from the military making it impossible for him to be granted permission to go forth and find the Eagle. He enlists the help of a slave named Esca (Jamie Bell) and together they go forth and look for the sacred eagle.
It might be a familiar enough story to some filmgoers, as another recent film, released to an even smaller number of people than THE EAGLE, was Neil Marshall’s film CENTURION, which dealt with the same legend of the Ninth. While Channing Tatum is certainly no Michael Fassbender, here he certainly holds his own, and might even surprise a few with his ability to carry a scene without being weighed down with too much emotion.
This disc doesn’t have as many extras as a film of this type usually does, but there are more than a few that make this worth checking out, which is highly recommended.
Official list of extras below:
Unrated Cut - Two versions of The Eagle are included -- theatrical and unrated – however both versions are 114 minutes long. Any differences are visual with the amount of blood
Audio Commentary - A very in-depth commentary by director Kevin Macdonald is provided here. He isn’t the most engaging speaker, but there is a very good amount of information provided here.
The Eagle: The Making of a Roman Epic - A fairly paint-by-numbers behind the scenes documentary with a few cast and crew interviews, and a lot of clips from the film.
Deleted Scenes - Two decent deleted scenes are available.
Alternate Ending - A drastically different, and some might say better ending.
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