In 140 AD, two men – master and slave – venture beyond the edge of the known world on a dangerous and obsessive quest that will push them beyond the boundaries of loyalty and betrayal, friendship and hatred, deceit and heroism.
20 years earlier, Rome’s 5,000-strong Ninth Legion, under the command of Flavius Aquila, marched north carrying their treasured golden Eagle emblem. They never returned; both Legion and Eagle simply vanished into the mists.
Hearing a rumour that the Eagle has been seen in a tribal temple in the far north, Flavius’ son Marcus (Tatum), determined to restore the tarnished reputation of his father, is galvanised into action. Rumours abound that the golden Eagle emblem has been sighted north of Hadrian’s Wall in Caledonia and, accompanied only by his slave Esca (Bell), Marcus sets out into these vast and dangerous Highlands to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father’s memory and retrieve the hallowed Eagle. Along the way Marcus realises that the mystery of his father’s disappearance may well be linked to the secret of his own slave’s identity and loyalty – a secret all the more pressing when the two come face-to-face with the warriors of the fearsome Seal Prince (Rahim).
Adapted from Rosemary Sutcliff’s classic novel The Eagle of the Ninth, director Kevin Macdonald has returned to his Scottish roots to fashion yet another breathtaking historical drama, detailing this explosive clash of cultures with accuracy and characteristic cinematic flair.
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival