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The Eagle soldiers on 

This portrait of war is painted with body-paint and blood, and that's about it.

There’s much talk of honour in The Eagle, a movie that puts forward a metal statue and the equally inanimate face of Channing Tatum as symbols of that quality. It’s hard to buy into all that honour talk, though, when many of the characters mouthing it are butchers of children. Tatum plays a soldier who sets out into unconquered northern Britain to reclaim Rome’s eagle standard, the one his father mysteriously lost years before. Joining him is a slave (Jamie Bell) who ends up turning the tables of serfdom on his master when they encounter the body-painted warriors who hold the eagle. Though it feints at commenting on the madness of war, the film also revels in it, dishonourably trying to have its blood and drink it too.


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Vol 24, No 21
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