The story of Outlaw King, one of the most anticipated film productions on Netflix in 2018, takes place in Scotland during the fourteenth century – a period well known to film buffs, as the classic “Braveheart” directed by Mel Gibson in 1996, addresses the same historical period (watch here).
In addition, a supporting character in the 5-Oscar winning film becomes the protagonist in this very well directed work by David Mackenzie: Robert the Bruce, who became one of the main heroes in the conquest of Scottish independence.
In this movie, Robert the Bruce is played by Chris Pine in what is probably the best part of his career. After spending years and years gaining more roles for his aesthetic beauty than for his talent, here he finds the perfect vehicle to prove that he is, in fact, a great actor. He demonstrates this not only in the most dramatic scenes, where he ends up suffering the hardships of being a king without a crown, but also in the battle scenes where he excels. His interpretation is strong and vivid, leaving no doubt about the actor’s courage and emotional delivery to his character.
This narrative may seem complicated and overly heavy, but this is where David Mackenzie’s performance in the direction is enforced. Responsible for a new film classic (“Hell or High Water”, nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture in 2017), he once again commands a project that could overturn his pretensions to a place in the sun in the pantheon of renowned directors in business. Outlaw King, however, ensured his stay on this team: having an absurd control of the story, without leaving any loose end, he delivers an excellent movie, full of drama and action, without ever sounding tiresome.
The technical aspects of Outlaw King are also commendable. The photography of Barry Ackroyd is beautiful, despite portraying the era as a dirtier and gray society. The art drection is also not far behind, reproducing Scotland and England of the fourteenth century with perfection. If this were not a Netflix movie, it would have been secured in the race for technical Oscars next year.
Synopsis 1: Outmanned. Outmatched. Outlawed. For freedom, honor and family, a rebel king takes on the mightiest army in the world.
Synopsis 2: In 14th-century Scotland, Robert the Bruce claims the crown and leads a fierce uprising to win back the country’s independence from English rule.