After being declared "Outlaw" by the occupying English Empire, Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine) raises an army of Scottish fighters in rebellion. Twists and turns all across the Scottish countryside lead this film on an epic, "true to historical events", journey that captures heroism at its core!Written by
I saw this movie at the Toronto Film Festival and was not expecting great things. Full disclosure, I thought Braveheart was idiotic and was expecting another Hollywood movie full of anachronisms, bad history and over the top performances. To my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed it gore and all and it deserves to be seen on a big screen to do its epic scope justice. The Scottish countryside is spectacular as are the battle scenes. The film takes some liberties with history, changing the timeline a little or merging characters and events, but generally the changes work to heighten the dramatic conflicts. Outlaw King tries bravely to lay out the complexities of the Scottish war of independence and the shifting alliances but some of the characters will get lost in the mix for those unfamiliar with the actual story. Aaron Taylor Johnson stands out as James Douglas, and Stephen Dillane is at his Stannis Baratheon best as Edward I. Florence Pugh made her relatively small role as Robert's wife stand out with the intensity of her performance. The soundtrack is haunting and music is used to excellent effect. In one scene where the Bruce has has suffered a devastating personal loss Chris Pine says nothing but begins to sing a traditional Scottish lament and the other men join in, which expresses far more emotion than any dialogue could, especially as he sings so well that he would be welcome at any ceilidh. Is it perfect? No. Is it worth watching? Definitely yes, preferably on a big screen.
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