Outlaw King (2018)

Director: David Mackenzie

Writer: Bathsheba Doran, David Mackenzie, James MacInnes (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, Billy Howle, Paul Blair, Sam Spruell

 

Plot: A true David v Goliath story of how the great 14th Century Scottish ‘Outlaw King’ Robert The Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat and repel the much larger and better equipped occupying English army.


Tagline – Based on the Untold True Story

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Brutality of War

 

Story: Outlaw King starts after William Wallace has been defeated and the English have taken over Scotland, accepting the surrounding kings and lords. Robert Bruce (Pine) is ready to take over his father’s role with King Edward I (Dilldane) controlling the land, with Elizabeth (Pugh) being married to Robert.

When Robert kills, he breaks the peace between the two nations with Scotland naming him King, England brand him the Outlaw king forcing him to build a new army to fight back against the English against all the odds.

 

Thoughts on Outlaw King

 

Characters – Robert Bruce is the son of his father’s name, next in line for royalty during a time of peace under English control, his action start a new war where he becomes King and must lead the fellow Scots in battle against the odds. He offers the people a chance to be by his side or against him without holding their decision against them, remaining fair to everyone in conflict. Elizabeth Burgh is the English lady that is forced to marry Robert, the two do get on which helps complete the peace, when the peace is broken she stands by his side and is used to bait Robert out of hiding. James Douglas joins the battle with Robert as he looks to regain the honour his family name deserves. Prince Edward is leading the English army in hunting down Robert and the rebels, he is doing this to impress his father with his place of King in his future.

PerformancesChris Pine gives us a wonderful performance showing us once again how he can adapt to any role given to him, never looking out of place playing a Scotsman. Florence Pugh continues her run in the period piece films, she shows us once again that she does have the talent for someone as young as she is. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is strong in the supporting role, he looks like the desperate man that he is meant to be playing. Billy Howle is strong too, we see how he can make his desire for power be the thing which drives his performance.

StoryThe story here shows us the story of Robert Bruce the Outlaw King of Scotland who fought against the odds to reclaim the kingdom of Scotland from the English. We know how ‘Braveheart’ has its own version of the battle which the English won, this story takes place in the aftermath of the real story which peace couldn’t be kept leading us to battle once again and showed us just how confrontational the two nations were. We get a lot of different titles which can become slightly confusing to keep up on who is what and in what line to become king of whichever nation they are fighting for.

Action/Biopic/HistoryThe action is massive scale battles which are shot in the same style of Game of Thrones, this being realistic is great for effect, but difficult to watch when it comes to see the horses getting slaughtered in the battle. The history lesson and biopic side of the film shows who Robert and his men were along with they would end up becoming.

SettingsThe film gives us locations that feel like they could be from the same time, we get the beauty of the Scottish countryside which only shows how they made their own advantage.


Scene of the Movie –
The battles.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Keeping on top of who is what ranking.

Final ThoughtsThis is a new brutal battle movie, it gives the history lesson needed and shows how people defined the future for people in the world.

 

Overall: Brutal history lesson.

Rating

 

 

Hell or High Water (2016)

hellDirector: David Mackenzie

Writer: Taylor Sheridan (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham

 

Plot: A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gritty Crime Thriller

 

Story: Hell or High Water starts as we meet our bank robbers Tanner (Foster) and Toby (Pine) Howard who are targeting small Texan banks to get minimum attention to themselves. The amount taken doesn’t grab the FBI’s attention but soon to be retiring Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Bridges) and his partner Alberto Parker (Birmingham) start look into the case.

As the crime heist continues across Texas we learn the reason behind Toby’s decision to rob the banks being to support his family while his brother is happier just to enjoy the ride. As the motives come through the race between rangers and robbers gets closer and we are left to see what will happen when they all finally clash.

Hell or High Water is a slow moving crime thriller that pulls you into every single scene between the characters, you understand the reasons behind the robberies, as well as the determined ranger wanting his last chance of glory before he faces an unknown future. The story is what shines through in the end because we never see too much of the robbery and focus on the human decisions behind the choices.

Pine, Foster, Bridges and Birmingham all give great performance that are their own bests for this year with each pairing coming off perfectly natural. This will end up being in Pine’s and Foster’s top five performances of their career while Bridges continues to show he can pull off anything. It is easy to see why people have enjoyed this film this year because it is up there with the very best.

 

Overall: One of the best of the year, gritty, intense and pulse pounding.

Ratingcard