(UK/US - 2018)
Directed by David Mackenzie. Written by Bash Doran, David Mackenzie, James MacInnes, David Harrower and Mark Bomback. Cast: Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, Stephen Dillane, Billy Howle, Sam Spruell, Tony Curran, Callan Mulvey, James Cosmo, Steven Cree, Alastair Mackenzie, Chris Fulton, Lorne MacFadyen, Jack Greenlees, Josie O'Brien, Jonny Phillips, Tam Dean Burn. (R, 121 mins)
A longtime pet project of Scottish-born HELL OR HIGH WATER director David Mackenzie, OUTLAW KING tells the story of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots from 1306 until his death in 1329. The film takes place at the same time as the events depicted in Mel Gibson's BRAVEHEART (where Robert the Bruce was played by Angus MacFadyen). Sir William Wallace is invoked frequently, though his screen time is limited to a cameo by his severed arm following his execution. Like Wallace, Robert (played here by Chris Pine) took part in the rebellion against King Edward I of England (Stephen Dillane), who was asked to help choose a successor to Scotland's throne when the king had no heirs and promptly ended up claiming the land for himself. As the film opens in 1303, Robert is among the rebels begrudgingly pledging fealty to King Edward at the request of his acquiescing father (the great James Cosmo, also in BRAVEHEART and whose appearance in these sorts of medieval period pieces is apparently required by law), who sees it as the best option, as the alternative is execution.