Don’t Outlaw This King

By Simon Northrip (Staff Reporter)

Sir Robert Bruce (Chris Pine) leads a rebellion against the English army. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

One of Netflix’s newest original films, “Outlaw King,” became available on Nov. 9th, 2018 and was released in select theaters around the United States. The film stars Chris Pine as Sir Robert Bruce, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as James Douglas and Florence Pugh as Elizabeth de Burgh.

Directed by David Mackenzie, “Outlaw King” tells the story of Sir Robert Bruce and the fight for Scotland to become independent from the harsh rule of Edward I of England.

Bruce’s story starts years after the events of the film “Braveheart” and the actions of William Wallace. Although the two films contain historical continuity, “Outlaw King” must not be confused as a sequel to “Braveheart.”

“Outlaw King” is a fresh addition to the catalog of films Netflix has to offer in its streaming services. It has been a while since a quality medieval film surfaced the world of cinema. The exquisite setting and the characters’ interaction with it is just one of the hallmarks this film successfully executes. There are multiple moments in the film where the setting makes a big difference to the outcome of certain characters’ survival and actions they can perform.

For example (without releasing any spoilers), there is a moment in the film where Bruce has crossed a lake, and on the other side of the lake, an ambush happens. Bruce can’t do much in the situation, and we learn more about Bruce’s general disposition from this interaction with the setting. It is a simple detail that adds believability to what is happening in the story and allows for exaggerations of this historical story to not be glaring problems for the casual audience.

The acting in the film is well done, and the Scottish accents from the actors do not sound immensely off or distract from the scene. Historical accuracy of the film is done fairly well, but there are some points in the film where there seems to be exaggeration to the point where it ruins the story that is trying to be told. In some moments, the concept of time is confusing to the audience especially closer to the end of the film after Bruce and his fellow rebels have been on the move for a while.

Overall, the film is an excellent and enjoyable watch for those who have a heart for historical films or favors films with visual appeal. For warning, though, this film does not shy on the blood, gore or the gruesomeness of war.

8.5/10 Torches

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

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