Unlike most of the Roman Empire costumed actioners greenlighted in the wake of Gladiator
, this story of a Roman legionary officer named Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) and his faithful British slave (Jamie Bell) on a commando mission to the savage North of Scotland, circa AD 140, takes a little more time to sketch in believable character details before the bloody battles with the painted warriors begin. English director Kevin Macdonald has a definite feel for the material, Jeremy Brock’s screenplay — adapted from Rosemary Sutcliff’s novel The Eagle of the Ninth
— is actually intelligent, and the cast members spend time saying things other than “Aarrrggghhh!” That’s wily old Donald Sutherland as Marcus’ wise old uncle, and Mark Strong as the grizzled survivor Guern. (114 min.)
See our full review:
Insurance-agent conventioneers and Roman legionnaires on a rampage.