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Story At The Movies: The Eagle

Channing Tatum
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

When you go to see an action movie starring the Hunk-of-the-Month Channing Tatum as a Roman commander trying to bring order to 2nd century Britain along with his faithful, um, British companion, Jamie Bell, and featuring “guest star Donald Sutherland,” you aren’t expecting ‘Hamlet” or a good movie of any kind. Just your basic smash-em bash-em actioner. Was I surprised. “The Eagle” is a very well-thought-out and researched tale of the lost Roman legion of 9000 men that marched into ancient Scotland and disappeared without a trace about 1900 years ago. Our two heroes are after the lost symbol of that legion, a golden eagle. They have more than a few adventures on their way to glory. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times was like-wise somewhat surprised at the quality of this film that comes out of left field:

“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. Here we see for the most part the actual actors trekking through real locations, instead of quasi-animation.

“The Eagle” is slickly produced, well-acted, directed and shot. The music is right on, you care for the characters and whether they live or die. There are good guys and bad guys, but they’re on both sides of the fence just to make things interesting. It steps along at a brisk pace, taking a bit of a breather during the middle for a plotbreak, and gets where it wants to go leaving one wanting more. “The Eagle” is  a very good movie. Action fans, awake! There’s a good one in town. See it!

rogerebert.sun-times.com

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