The Eagle (New Film about Roman Britain)

Has anyone seen The Eagle? I just got back from seeing it, and I really liked it. It followed a fairly standard action/adventure formula, but I think it pulled it off well. It had lots of good action, great costuming and scenery, and good pacing. I’m sure you could nitpick a million little historical inaccuracies, but as an amateur history buff there were a couple of things I liked. They don’t inject modern values too much into the story. The film makes it clear that Romans had somewhat different, if still recognizable, concepts of honor. Roman soldiers fight in formation (although I think they were a little gratuitous with the tortoise maneuver) and something I swear I’ve never seen done before, the Romans actually throw their javelins! In most works on Rome I’ve seen, the Romans might carry their javelins, but they almost never use them as javelins.

So overall, The Eagle wasn’t a revolutionary work of art, but I think it was a very well done action adventure movie. So go see it if you like that type of movie.

Anyone else see The Eagle? Got anything to say about it?

I’d like to. We don’t see too many in the theaters these days, but I’ll lobby for it (so to speak).

I saw it with my 13 year old son who has a a fascination with with Roman / Greek era military history. All in all I enjoyed it and it passed the main criteria I have for whether a movie is good or not - at no point did I check the time to see how much time was left.

The scenery was incredible and the depiction of the people they met traveling north was interesting.

I give it a solid B.

A very good movie. Nice to see a historical military film without loads of bad CGI and shouted dialogue.

I’m guessing it’s not often shown in movies because of the danger in throwing large objects at actors. Now that there’s CGI, maybe it’s feasible.

The javelins were meant to be thrown and had attributes to facilitate throwing. Cite

The basic tactic was to throw the javelin to disrupt enemy lines and close with the short sword. Back ranks could use it as a spear in certain formations if needed.

I found the movie sub-par. I enjoyed it and did not feel it was a waste of my money or time. But B-movie execution.

I liked it. It was nothing spectacularly special, but a solid, enjoyable historical action movie, with no really horribly glaring historical mistakes (no doubt in matters of detail there were, but nothing I really noticed just casually viewing).

If you liked that movie, try to find the book “The Eagles Depart”, by John Gloag. Splendid novel about the final days of Roman Britain. Our library didn’t have a copy, so I had to go to Amazon to find one, and it was worth it.

Or better yet, the “Eagle of the Ninth” series by Rosemary Sutcliff. They’re the series of books that “The Eagle” is based on, in particular, the book “The Eagle of the Ninth.”

Oooh, I loved that series when I was a kid. I haven’t heard of this film until this thread, but I see it was shot in Wester Ross, which is my favourite part of the world. I guess I’ll be going to see it when it comes out here.

Oh yes - forgot about that one - also a great read.

There’s another series of “Eagle” books by Simon Scarrow. The first few deal with the invasion of Britain during the reign of Claudius. Not great literature, but enjoyable.

I enjoyed the movie too. It was almost like an old western, with the Romans taking the place of the US Calvary in the fort in far off Indian country, and with the proto-Scottish people as the Indians.

I did enjoy the film overall, even though the entire legend of the “Lost Legion” is probably untrue. Still, it’s a good story, and it isn’t surprising that it’s been written about and filmed several times.

It felt a little rushed in places – there were times when I really wanted them to slow down and show something more about the politics, morals, and mores of the people and the era – but the acting was solid and I never felt bored watching it. My only serious problem (aside from the legend not being true – not the movie’s fault, since it’s based on the book) was with the ending, which was a little silly and way too predictable. But Hollywood’s done much, much worse historical films than this one…

I haven’t seen this movie yet, but it’s weird that this is the third recent movie about the ninth legion. Before this one, there was The Last Legion (which tied into the Arthur myth) and Centurion.

I thought there were some distinct holes in the story. The hero spent what seemed like half the movie shivering with an infection (2 separate occasions), and the transition of the slave coming around to save the day was - while wholly predictable - not supported by the character.

And I gotta say it - for the epilogue I imagined that our 2 heros opened a little antique shop on the coast, where they did hair in the back, and some party planning when time permitted. :smiley:

Yeah…it did seem to have that vibe, didn’t it?

I was just about to ask “Is this based on ‘The Eagle of the Ninth’?”

I have so much respect for Sutcliff and her novels. She is absolutely amazing at capturing the day-to-day details of the historical settings she writes about.

For those who don’t know about her:

I got upset when I was watching Centurion because of the way that it portrayed Agricola.

It sounds like they are making a movie about the battle of Teutoberg Wald from the German point of view called Empire of Crows. Frankly I can think of at least 100 subjects from classical history that could make subjects for movies

I don’t think it opens in the UK until the end of March and I’m quite keen to see it. It was the closing film at the recent Glasgow Film Festival, but I missed that.

I quite enjoyed Centurion although the time the Legion took to march to the Highlands from York was unfeasibly short!
Coming next year (possibly) is yet another ‘Romans in Scotland’ movie, Bran Mak Morn, based on Robert E. Howard’s Pictish character… IMDB say it’s ‘in development’ so I won’t be holding my breath.