A true David vs. Goliath story of how the 14th century Scottish ‘Outlaw King’ Robert the Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat the much larger and better equipped occupying English army.
I’ve sort of had this movie in my radar since hearing about it before TIFF a few years ago. Never had gone to TIFF of course but the movie always sort of lingered somewhere in my brain. Found out a while ago that it was streaming on Netflix and here we are 🙂
Oh man, I have to say, this movie stays with you after you watch it. I saw it maybe late September on Netflix one evening and as I type this review a week later (this is scheduled, lol) I find the movie still resonates with me, I remember certain moments from the movie, the scenery, certain tracks from the soundtrack certainly highlighted these points. I love how minimalist the shots can be and yet it’s loaded with meaning and imagery and artistry. The use of the landscape was gorgeous and inserted quite nicely where you need a break from the drama and the action.
The story itself was interesting and had me engaged throughout. My memory of Scottish history around this time is very hazy–and I had to do my best to expel the movie Braveheart from memory as that also had its inaccuracies–but the grit and the stakes felt real. Very, very real: the movie really highlighted the price that Robert the Bruce would have to pay to rise up as king and lead a rebellion against the English crown. At one point I actually asked out loud how much more did he had to lose?
Chris Pine was absolutely excellent here. Those punctured moments of silence, the haunted look in his eyes that conveyed everything that needed to be said…The entire cast was excellent, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s edginess as James Douglas, but yeah Chris Pine was at his best here.
And bits of the soundtrack were excellent too, I’ve had this track on repeat since:
Overall Outlaw King was fantastic. I understand the movie went through a major edit after TIFF (didn’t know it opened poorly) and I think it turned out great. If you’re into historical/period films with grit and action and drama, definitely check this out.