Netflix Recommendation: Outlaw King (2018)

Quote from Outlaw King by Robert the Bruce: “I’m done with running and I’m sick of hiding.”

outlawking

Producers: Gillian Berrie, Richard Brown, Brian Coffey, Rob Kettlewell, Danny McGrath, Claire Moorsom, and Stan Wlodkowski

Director: David Mackenzie

Writers: Bathsheba Doran, David Mackenzie, James MacInnes, David Harrower, and Mark Bomback

Major Cast: Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as James Douglas (Lord of Douglas), Florence Pugh as Elizabeth de Burgh, Billy Howle as Edward (Prince of Wales), Tony Curran as Angus MacDonald, Lorne MacFadyen as Nigel Bruce, Alastair Mackenzie as Lord Atholl, James Cosmo as Robert de Brus (6th Lord of Annandale), Callan Mulvey as John III Comyn (Lord of Badenoch), Stephen McMillan as Drew Forfar, Squire Paul Blair as Bishop Lamberton, Stephen Dillane as King Edward I of England,Steven Cree as Christopher Seton, Sam Spruell as Aymer de Valence (2nd Earl of Pembroke), Rebecca Robin as Margaret of France (Queen of England), Stewart Brown as the Ginger, Jamie Maclachlan as Roger De Mowbray, Benny Young as Sir Simon Fraser, and Clive Russell as Lord MacKinnon of Skye

MPAA Rating: R for brutal war violence, some sexuality, language, and brief nudity

Running Time: 2 hours and 1 minute

*******

This has minor spoilers.

Outlaw King starts with Robert the Bruce in 1304.  William Wallace has recently been killed by King Edward I, but Robert still pledges allegiance to King Edward in exchange for land promised him.  He marries Elizabeth de Burgh, and finds himself at odds with the king after he doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain.  It is here you realize Robert is respectful of Elizabeth’s new role as wife and is a tender leader and fighter.  Two years pass between them and his ambition to revolt against the English is solidified when he becomes the newly crowned King of Scots.  This doesn’t make King Edward pleased, and  Robert is now considered an outlaw.  A series of events forces him to leave Elizabeth and his daughter, Marjorie, from his first marriage.  He loses men along the way and finds himself under the thumb of the Prince of Wales.  Hoping to bring Robert out of hiding, the prince takes Robert’s wife and daughter from Kildrummy Castle to England.  They become prisoners, at the mercy of a hanging cage and religious nuns.   Robert continues his quest to free them.  When King Edward dies and the prince now known as Edward II replaces him, Robert fights him in a battle at Loudoun Hill.  The Scots are outnumbered six to one, but with Robert’s plan he is able to overtake the English soldiers, leading to a duel with Edward II.  It is a fight leading to more fights where Robert the Bruce’s place in history is secured as well as his descendants.  While this movie was good, I wasn’t at the edge of my seat.   It scratched the political surface of Scotland when it should’ve dug the nails in deep.  In other words, I wanted more screen time between Robert and Elizabeth.  I wanted to see more emotions behind Robert’s actions.  I wanted to see the power struggles beyond swords and crowns.  Usually by the end of this type of movie, I’m persuaded to learn the craft of sword fighting after I gain 20 pounds of arm muscle (even if it lasts for only a few minutes).  This time I was not.  This doesn’t make it unworthy to watch, but it’s missing some of the energy one feels when the downtrodden (so to speak) rises to the top.  Yet, I still recommend it.

I rate Outlaw King GOOD at 80%.

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