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.




Michael Fassbender Weekend – The Counsellor (2013)

counselorDirector: Ridley Scott

Writer: Cormac McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Bruno Ganz, Rosie Perez, Ruben Blades, Brad Pitt, Goran Visnjic, Edgar Ramirez, Dean Norris, Sam Spruell


Plot: A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Wow this was Boring


Story: The Counsellor starts with one of the most awkward scenes I have seen in film as the Counsellor (Fassbender) is in bed with Laura (Cruz) talking uncomfortable dirty. The Counsellor is working on a one of drug deal with Reiner (Bardem) and Westray (Pitt) as he learns all the tricks of the trade to make this deal happen.

The Counsellor finds himself in the middle of a much bigger picture which involved a drug lord, law authority agencies with undercover agent which will put his life and his fiancée’s wife in danger.

The Counsellor is a crime thriller that is so empty of actual story you are left wondering what you just watched. We never learn any of the character’s motive to be involved in the deal or what they are actually doing. I really can’t explain just how boring this film really was to watch with nothing happening at all.


Actor Review


Michael Fassbender: Counsellor is a lawyer who is trying to get involved in a drug, he finds himself having a connection with each side of the dealing and when the drugs go missing he finds himself the prime suspect. Michael is solid and really struggles to make an impact in this film.fassbender

Penelope Cruz: Laura is the love interest of the Counsellor she isn’t involved with the drug deal but finds herself being seduced into a darker side by Malkina and in danger thanks to the drugs going missing. Penelope is ok with the few scenes she has in the film but you will almost forget what happened to her.

Cameron Diaz: Malkina is the girlfriend of Reiner, she comes off seductive in every way be it controlling her drug lord boyfriend or teaching Laura the bad ways. Cameron does well but doesn’t do enough to make is either like or dislike her.

Javier Bardem: Reiner is the drug lord that the Counsellor wants to go and make a deal happen with, he uses his experience to show him just what he can do if he gets screwed over. Javier is good in this role where he gets to be his eccentric self.

Support Cast: The Counsellor has a supporting cast that doesn’t do enough to make us know what their character is doing.

Director Review: Ridley ScottRidley is a director we would expect greatness from but what is this?


Crime: The Counsellor has a crime story I just didn’t really know what it was.

Thriller: The Counsellor doesn’t pull us in to this story at all.

Settings: The Counsellor tries to use pretty settings but nothing that makes us know what is going on.
Special Effects
: The Counsellor has solid effects with the kills only.

Suggestion: The Counsellor is one to stay well away from. (Avoid)


Best Part: Don’t make me laugh.

Worst Part: Everything.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $17 Million

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 18 Minutes

Tagline: Sin Is A Choice


Overall: Dreadfully boring film that goes nowhere.


Taken 3 (2015)

logoDirector: Olivier Megaton

Writer: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay) Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen (Characters)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Don Harvey, Dylan Bruno, David Warshofsky, Jon Gries, Sam Spruell, Dougary Scott


Plot: Ex-government operative Bryan Mills is accused of a ruthless murder he never committed or witnessed. As he is tracked and pursued, Mills brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Someone Took Too Much


Story: Taken 3 starts when Malankov is trying to collect money leaving a message for somebody when he finds nothing in a safe. We finally get to meet Bryan Mills (Neeson) who is still looking after his daughter Kim (Grace) who started to continue her life after the ordeals of the first two ‘Takens’. Bryan is still trying to rebuild his relationship with his wife Lenore (Janssen) whose second marriage isn’t running as smoothly as it once did. Bryan is asked to stay away from Lenore by her new husband and he accepts but after receiving a message from her he goes around only to find her dead and police waiting for him.

Bryan escapes and goes on the run looking for the person or people responsible as well as warning Kim that he will look like the guilty party. Franck (Whitaker) is the lead investigator on the murder case and shows why by picking up on a couple of clues that the other officers missed. Bryan has to use all his certain skills to prove that he is innocent and find out who is responsible while eluding the police who have set out a man hunt for him.

Taken 3 rounds of the trilogy well, it brings the fight back home (well America, not my home) and also ditches all the ties from the previous Taken’s. it does flow the same as the previous ones but decides to tone down the body count as a lot of the people Bryan is running from are actually cops.  The fact it went for the personal side once more showed it need to go that bit further which it did. The fact the twists keep coming kind of ruins it because the final twist doesn’t really make that much sense. The cops are rather stupid because even the lead Franck believes him to be innocent but won’t just say ‘hey I know you’re telling the truth lets work this out together’. In general it is a solid finish to the trilogy but just no more please. (6/10)


Actor Review


Liam Neeson: Bryan Mills our man with a particular set off skills that he likes to use who becomes suspect number one after his ex-wife is murdered. Bryan must go on a one man mission to prove his innocence and find out who is responsible. Liam does give a good performance but his age is starting to show through the film. (7/10)


Forest Whitaker: Franck Dotzler the detective who is after Mills but throughout the investigation he starts to think he could be innocent and also knows that he could be dangerous and should be treated differently to a normal suspect. Forest does give a solid performance but really isn’t too important to anything that happens. (5/10)


Maggie Grace: Kim Mills the daughter of Bryan who knows the innocence of her father and has to continue her normal day while being followed by the police. Maggie gives a solid performance and shows more young adult traits this time around. (6/10)


Support Cast: Taken 3 has a supporting cast that will at some point have Bryan Mills kick their arses but it is the true villain that is the mystery throughout.


Director Review: Olivier Megaton – Olivier does give us a good conclusion but fails to offer anything truly new to the series. (6/10)


Action: Taken 3 has plenty of action be it hand to hand combat, car chases or shoot offs. (9/10)

Thriller: Taken 3 doesn’t pull you in as much as previous encounters. (7/10)

Settings: Taken 3 bring the action back to America works well because Bryan has to play by different rules. (8/10)

Suggestion: Taken 3 is one for the fans of the series to enjoy, action fans will also enjoy but just don’t expect to get tested just enjoy. (Action Fans Watch)


Best Part: Police Escape.

Worst Part: Liquid store fight.

Lessons Learned: Simple don’t mess with Bryan Mills.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final showdown with the car and the plane


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Hopefully Not

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $92 Million (to Date)

Budget: $48 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Trivia: Reportedly, Liam Neeson stipulated to the movie’s producers that he would only do this third instalment if “nobody gets taken”.


Overall: Solid Conclusion to the series

Rating 70

Snow White and The Huntsman (2012)

logoDirector:  Rupert Sanders

Writer: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini (Screenplay) Evan Daugherty (Story)

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Sam Spruell, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, Johnny Harris


Plot: When Queen Ravenna’s (Theron) power finds out the mirror states that Snow White (Stewart) is now the fairest of them all. After Snow White escapes the kingdom the queen sends the Huntsman (Hemsworth) after her. After he locates her he ends up fighting to protect her from all of the evil Queen’s forces and army’s. Upon meeting the dwarfs Snow White has a new group of soldiers to help her take back the kingdom that is rightfully hers.


Some of the Dwarf Warriors

Some of the Dwarf Warriors

Verdict: Dark action packed spin on the classic fairy tale.

Story: We all know the basic outline story to Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, this shakes things up. We have warriors in the huntsman and the dwarfs are not happy singing miners but fighters. In the end it tries to take some of the magic out the story and replace it with more fighting. (7/10)


Actor Review: Kristen Stewart – Snow White at her, not so best. She is locked away for years before running away before building an army to take back her throne. Fresh of the back of the Twilight film Kristen is an ‘it’ girl as studios know she can sell seats. This doesn’t mean she is a good actress and this proves it, she starts well but when her character changes she doesn’t. Poor Performance Award (5/10)

 snow white

Actor Review: Chris Hemsworth – The alcoholic huntsman who has lost his wife leaving him with nothing to fight for. Snow white gives him a chance to fight for something again. Shows he has some acting skill behind his muscles can put together some great fight scenes and continues to grow a good reputation in the business. Action Star Award, Kick Ass Award, Lesley’s Stud Muffin Award (8/10)


Actor Review: Charlize Theron – The evil queen who wants to stay young forever and has succeed in achieve this for years until Snow White gets in the way of her next attempt she stops at nothing to get her back. Charlize shines in this role and you know that she is a great actress who steals the show here. Star Performance Award, Scene Stealer Award, Babe Watch Award (9/10)

Queen asking the mirror the question

Queen asking the mirror the question

Actor Review: Sam Claflin – Long lost brother of Snow White who goes into hiding when Ravenna takes over the kingdom. He comes out fighting once he learns that she is still alive. This is a much better performance from the young actor but still has a lot to learn to be a dominant presence on screen. (6/10)


Director Review: Rupert SandersIn this directorial debut he has a lot to work with and manages to put together a good film without it being great. (7/10)


Action: Some good fight scenes. (8/10)

Fantasy: Using some good fantasy elements throughout. (7/10)

Special Effects: Some good effects used to show some aging on Ravenna and creations to be used in the fight scene. (7/10)

Believability: Good fairy tale and that is it. (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Fantasy world works very nicely for this setting. (8/10)
Oscar Chances
: Got nominated for two Oscars.

Chances of Sequel: There is one in the works.

Suggestion: It is a good action adventure but I think it is fair to say nothing is truly stand out here so if you like the genre you will enjoy the film but maybe it won’t be the first one you pick up to watch. (TV Viewing)


Best Part: Charlize’s performance

Worst Part: Snow White’s painful motivation speech.


Overall: Fantasy Tale that doesn’t shine too much

 Lesley’s Rating 90%

My Rating 73%