This movie is based on a true story (ish). It is based on the Ninth Spanish Legion’s (supposed) disappearance in Britain. It is also an adaption of the novel written by Rosemary Sutcliff, ‘The Eagle of the Ninth’.
To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect of this movie. The movie poster reminds me of 300 and Troy mixed together and probably the only thing that drew me to this movie was Channing Tatum. This movie was nothing like what I expected it to be. At the beginning I thought it resembled Lord of the Rings but Romanised and then the story changed and it became about two men, a slave and his master, travelling through the dangerous area north of Hadrian’s wall in order to find ‘The Eagle’ and restore honour to Rome and Marcus’ (Tatum) family name.
The setting of the movie was great, I really felt like I was in the Roman age; however, one feature that really puzzled me was the ‘Seal people’. This tribe seemed to be a group of men who were all African, but were painted from head to toe in white paint. I’m not too sure of the details of the Roman age; however, I am 99% sure that there weren’t tribes that consisted of Africans painted white. This thing bothered me and is made it seem a lot more Pirates of the Caribbean.
Another puzzling thing was the fact that the Roman’s in this movie had American accents, and the British has (unsurprisingly) British accents. Now I know that this movie was an American-British co-production but I still believe that having British accents the entire way through would have made this movie a lot more convincing.
Something about this movie also reminded me of the popular video game ‘Call of Duty’ as the men were all fighting and killing each other into to save a standard with an eagle on the top (this is something I have often seen my male friends spend their afternoons doing – virtually of course). I understand that that is exactly what a Roman Legion would have probably done in those days but there could have been a bit more explanation as to why it was so important.
Quite a lot of the movie was also in Scottish Gaelic, with no subtitles, therefore I found it a little difficult and frustrating as I could not understand what some of the people were saying. Perhaps this was to give us a greater insight into the world of Marcus, as he was a Roman, he couldn’t understand Gaellic either, but subtitles would’ve been much appreciated.
Although I have been very critical of this movie, somehow I’d still recommend it. Personally, I learnt a tiny amount of history from it, and all knowledge is useful (at some point in life.. we hope). A strong friendship/brotherhood is formed between a master and a slave shedding some positive light upon the Romans, as they did not all treat their slaves badly. There are also some recognisable faces in this movie. This is a historical adventure about finding honour and friendship along a difficult journey.