I’m not going to lie: other than his roughly 11 seconds of screen time in Public Enemies, I’ve yet to see anything about
Channing Tatum Charming Potato that leads me to believe that he can act worth a pocketful of owl shit. He’s just so goddamn wooden it’s painful. And yet, I strangely like the guy. Maybe it’s because he seems like a genuinely nice guy. He mostly shies away from the spotlight, he married his Step Up co-star and they seem rather adorable. I’ve heard he was good in lesser-known films like Stop-Loss and Battle In Seattle, yet for every one of those, there’s a GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra or Dear John. Potato seems determined to make himself into a legitimate actor, but so far it’s eluded him.
Here’s the trailer for his next project, The Eagle. Previously called The Eagle Of The Ninth, which is a far cooler title, it’s another film about the famous Roman Ninth Legion, and is based on the 1954 novel by Rosemary Sutcliff. Unlike Neil Marshall’s delightfully and gorily violent, but emotionally empty Centurion, this one instead focuses on the son of the Ninth Legion’s leader trying to discover what happened to the infamous vanished legion. The full (and another unnecessarily lengthy) synopsis:
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…The Roman epic adventure THE EAGLE stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell and is directed by Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald. 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; Legion and Eagle simply vanished into the mists. Hearing a rumor 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 galvanized into action. Accompanied only by his slave Esca (Bell), Marcus sets out into the vast and dangerous highlands of Scotland - to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father’s memory, and retrieve the hallowed Eagle. Along the way Marcus realizes 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 (Tahar Rahim).
Now, this has a lot going for it. For one, the excellent Jamie Bell co-starring, as well as Mark Strong and Donald Sutherland. It’s directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, State Of Play), who’s looking to enter blockbuster territory. And honestly, the trailer looks pretty damn good — buoyed by Bell, certainly, but it looks to have some spectacular cinematography and solid direction as well. Potato is the x-factor, as always. Will this be the one that shows him to be a real actor?
Only then, will he truly be Channing Tatum. Until then, Charming Potato he shall remain.