copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

In the current anti-authoritarian age any production about Rome is quick to point out the little evils of that oppressive empire. Stories are full of darkness. So I was in a way relieved to see a movie that turned Romans, at least some Romans, into US marines - honor, glory, family and all that stuff. But then the honor, glory and family did not flow into something more substantial. Nothing happened. And then some more nothing happened. There was a small battle or two, which was kind of nice for a dude to watch I suppose, but then it went back to small scale affairs. No one was acting in a manner as to convince the viewer that something is at stake, and for that matter, only one or two actors gave a performance of interest. There was no particular artistic spectacle a; no edge-of-your-seat plot; nothing to distinguish this movie from any other, except for trying to stuff modern military macho bi-curious bro-ism and family values into an ancient Roman skin, although to some degree all Roman movies do that too.

It was like spending time watching a day in someone else's life or the background story of a side-character from another more interesting movie. Having said that, there is nothing particularly wrong with watching a day in someone else's life.

The movie does get better towards the end when the plot is temporarily left behind in favor of simpler action and you forget what era that is supposed to be, but then it decides to turn all honor and glory on your *ss again and the problem is that...guys, choking on stripes and stars just gets a little old, even if you US guys dress it in a Roman suit of armor.

If you are a fan of the Roman era then you already know that you will watch this anyway, right? But this is NOT what it appears to be or what it should have been. It is Black Hawk Down shot (no pun intended) in a forest. A movie like Coriolanus, despite being written by the non Roman Shakespeare and shot as a modern day action movie is much more Roman than The Eagle can ever hope to be.

The Eagle