Robert the Bruce (2019)

Director: Richard Gray

Writer: Eric Belgau, Angus Macfadyen (Screenplay)

Starring: Angus Macfadyen, Anna Hutchison, Zach McGowan, Diarmaid Murtagh, Gabriel Bateman, Talitha Bateman, Emma Kenney, Daniel Portman, Patrick Fugit, Merlora Walters, Shane Coffey, Brandon Lessard, Kevin McNailly, Jared Harris


Plot: The story of nobleman-turned-outlaw hero who was crowned king of Scots in the 14th century.

Tagline – He Empowered a People, He Fought for Freedom, To Defy An Empire.

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Scottish History Without the Battles


Story: Robert the Bruce starts after William Wallace is defeated, Robert the Bruce (Macfadyen) and John Comyn (Harris) are fighting for control of Scotland, with John coming up the winner, Robert isn’t willing to take this defeat laying down, with his loyal soldiers James Douglas (Murtagh) planning to take Scotland back.

With Robert injured, Morag (Hutchison) and her family discover him, nursing him back to health despite being in a heavily Comyn control area, with Brandubh (McGowan) hunting down anyone who supporting Robert the Bruce, he must regain his strength to take his rightful place on the throne of Scotland.


Thoughts on Robert the Bruce


Characters – Robert the Bruce is the man that was crowned king of Scotland after the English were defeated, he wasn’t everybody’s first choice, which sees him needing to fight for his place on the throne, which sees him being left for dead, while his opposition takes control of the land, eliminating anybody who supports him. John Comyn is the other man that believes he could be king of Scotland, he has taken control in the battle against Robert, which sees him continuing to use the connections with English, much to anger of the Scots. Morag is the single mother that saw her husband killed fighting for Robert, she must raise her children believing John is the rightful ruler, either if her stories tell of Robert’s bravery.  Brandubh is related to Morag, he is willing to kill anybody that doesn’t fight for his own country, which sees him trying to hunt down Robert the Bruce.

PerformancesAngus Macfadyen reprises his former role of Robert the Bruce, one he played in Braveheart, he brings us a wise leader performance through the film. Jared Harris might have a supporting role, but after this year, you want to pause and watch any scene this man is in. Anna Hutchison does bring us a stronger performance than you would expect from her, with her getting to show that she can handle a serious role. Zach McGowan does a lot of the heavy lifting in this film, he is the one that gets to handle the most action through the film, with him being the villain for large parts of the film which otherwise would involve less action.

StoryThe story here follows Robert the Bruce who became of the King of Scotland in the aftermath of the William Wallace battles against the English. Now this is set up to be some what of a sequel to Braveheart, which it is only in continuing a story, not in film story. we do play into the idea of how Scotland was left in the unknown after the battle, with two people fighting for the leadership, with the people left divided and calm required to make the land complete once again. The pacing of the story does come off slow in places which doesn’t help because, it is mostly a mother trying to prove to her children who should be king, and who they should tell people they respect more to remain safe. If you know your history the end of the film isn’t going to be a mystery to you and it does feel like there could have been a bigger impact with certain things that happen in this story.

HistoryThis is a history lesson to the people that wanted to know more historic accuracy behind Scotland’s independence from England, unlike what Braveheart did.

SettingsThe film does make us feel like we are in part of Scotland, we get to see how the condition made the events of the film difficult for the men fighting for the rightful cause.

Scene of the Movie –
The crown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is about 30 minutes too long for everything that is told in this story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting look at the history of Robert the Bruce and his rise to become king of Scotland, seeing how he overcame odds to take his place on the throne. Everything is acted well, never looking out of place.


Overall: History lesson.




ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – # – 22 Bullets (2010)

Director: Richard Berry

Writer: Richard Berry, Mathieu Delaporte, Alexandre de La Patelliere, Eric Assous (Screenplay) Franz-Olivier Giesbert (Novel)

Starring: Jean Reno, Kad Merad, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Marina Fois, Joey Starr, Richard Berry, Venantino Venantini, Claude Gensac


Plot: A retired mobster goes on a revenge spree after being left for dead with 22 bullets in his body by his former childhood friend.

Tagline – Le sang versé ne sèche jamais (Spilt blood doesn’t dry)

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Brutal Action Film


Story: 22 Bullets starts when retired Mafia godfather Charly Mattei (Reno) is ambushed by multiply gun man who riddle his body with bullets, 22 in his body and somehow, he survives the attack. The man behind the attack Tony Zacchia (Merad) wants the job finished so he can take the control he wants over the business, while detective Marie Goldman (Fois) has her own scores to settle with Mafia who were behind her husband’s and fellow cops’ death.

Charly brings his trusted friends back together to go into a full-blown war with Tony which see the bodies piling up, until he can get his hands-on Tony himself.


Thoughts on 22 Bullets


Characters – Charly Mattei is the retired Mafia godfather that walked away from the business with strict rules on how it will continue, he gets left for dead by the new boss who wants to play by his own rules. Now the bear has been poked he will seek revenge on everyone who tried to eliminate him, no matter how many bodies get left in his way, he knows this is the only way to keep his family safe. Tony Zacchia has taken over the business, he doesn’t want to play by the same rules though, he needs to take care of Charly before changing the rules and after that attempts fails, he starts to throw waves of men as Charly to finish the job. Martin is the closest friend to Charly, he will help make the connections to who else was involved in the assassination attempt. Marie Goldman is a cop that lost her husband to the Mafia, she has wanted to take them down for years now and this will be her best chance after she get put in the middle of the blood war.

PerformancesJean Reno is fantastic in the leading role of the film, he brings back the type of performance we saw in Leon where he is the cold-hearted killer with the heart of gold. Kad Merad, Jean-Pierre Darroussin are both good in the supporting role, though it can be easy to mix the two up. Marina Fios is good as the detective trying to get to the bottom of everything with her own tragic back past.

StoryThe story here follows a former Mafia Godfather that goes on a revenge mission against the new godfather after he failed to have his assassinated bring France into a battle for power between the two leading sides in the war. This does play out like a revenge thriller with plenty of bullets, we have seen this done most recently with John Wick and this follows the same tone and body numbers you would be seeing in this one. The added side story of the cop wanting to final takedown the person who killed her husband adds to everything making this feel like a three-way war between the sides. The does play out how you would imagine which is great to see and the story doesn’t hold back either.

Action/CrimeThe action is brutal when it comes to the bullet wound, even if certain moments can become overkill when it comes to the bullets flying. The crime world shown gives us an insight into the world in and out of the world with people wanting out or control.

SettingsThe film is set in Marseille which shows us a new type of city for a crime film to take place in, we have all the locations you would imagine for a Mafia film.

Scene of the Movie –
Dinner meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Sometimes overkill.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action revenge thriller, that puts Jean Reno front and centre on a bloody rampage, one well worth watching for the action fans.


Overall: Enjoyable Action Film.