MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Let’s be up front here… Channing Tatum is not a good actor. He’s not awful, but he’s a special breed of milky-white bland that falls flat on the screen. Sure, he’s good looking and has a great body, but he’s boring. So the fact that I was mildly interested in “The Eagle” shows that the film – and Tatum’s co-star Jamie Bell – were better than average. Still, Channing Tatum as the powerful soldier lead is a bit dry.
The story follows a Roman soldier who travels into the Highlands above the conquered British land to find a golden eagle standard that was stolen from the Empire. He is joined by a British slave who is meant to be his guide but whose loyalties are uncertain. On the whole, this film works as a sword-and-sandal piece. It has some decent battles, and the action is slick. However, like many modern war films, it gets too introspective on the horrors of war and the uncertain righteousness of any one side. And the portrayal of the Highland tribes is just a bit too heavy-handed in its attempt to parallel the struggles of the Native Americans.
The Blu-ray comes with the theatrical and unrated cuts of the film, though both have the same running time, and I noticed no difference. Features include an alternate ending, deleted scenes, commentary track and the featurette “The Eagle: The Making of a Roman Epic.” The Blu-ray also gives you BD-Live, pocketBLU and Digital Copy access.