Outlaw King review – bold, watchable portrait of Robert the Bruce

Chris Pine pulls off a decent Scottish accent as the great 14th-century insurrectionary in David Mackezie’s brisk retelling

David Mackenzie’s retelling of the Robert the Bruce story for Netflix is bold and watchable, with a spectacular final battle scene shot with flair by the cinematographer Barry Ackroyd. Here is the legendary defiance shown by the great 14th-century Scottish insurrectionary, defying the hated English king and fighting a shrewd guerrilla war, luring enemy forces deeply and wearyingly north, while progressively amassing his own support, and then securing a historic victory. Mackenzie has abolished the infamous moment when Robert, hiding out in a cave, is supposedly inspired by the persistence of a spider climbing up its web. The film prefers to plunge us into the familiar zero sum Game of Thrones territory: a violent all-or-nothing grab for power in a world of beards, smocks, priests with weird pudding-bowl fringes and tonsures,
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