Movie Title: Outlaw King
Genre: Action, Drama, Historical
Director: David Mackenzie
Writer: David Mackenzie, Bathsheba Doran, James MacInnes, Mark Bomback, David Harrower
Starring: Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, Billy Howle, Tony Curran, Callan Mulvey, Stephen Dillane
Review: Outlaw King tells the untold, true story of Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine) who transforms from defeated nobleman to outlaw hero during the oppressive occupation of medieval Scotland by Edward I of England (Stephen Dillane). Despite grave consequences, Robert seizes the Scottish crown and rallies an impassioned group of men to fight back against the mighty army of the tyrannical King and his volatile son, the Prince of Wales (Billy Howle).
This film is one of the best Netflix original films to date, telling a captivating David vs. Goliath story that hasn't seen much exposure in cinematic terms. Chris Pine is fantastic as Robert the Bruce, bringing charm and wit to a character and film that is brimming with intensity. This film is also beautifully shot, featuring the magnificent cliffs and green rolling hills of Scotland. While the plot is a slow burn, this film really builds an intriguing story that merits being told. The last act of this movie is intense, violent, and filled with Game of Thrones-ish flair. My one big criticism is that the ending felt rushed. It's been stated that 20 minutes were cut from the film to reduce the runtime. It makes me wonder if that applied to the ending. While the penultimate featured some captivating battle sequences, it just seemed like it was over rather quickly, and all of the subsequent loose ends were tied up without any elaboration. All of that said, I highly recommend this film from a historical and storytelling standpoint, and think it is definitely worth your time. Outlaw King was authentic and had a professional studio feel to it that other Netflix movies sometimes lack. Hopefully, this will signal a changing of the tides for Netflix original films, and I look forward to seeing what lies ahead as the online streaming service aims to generate some content that can live up to the hype of their many hit TV series.
Fun Fact: Some scenes were filmed in the historical town of Berwick-Upon-Tweed, the first town in England which changed hands between Scotland and England over 12 times, one of which was when Robert the Bruce was alive.