The Reel Review
Chris Pine stars in this Netflix original film about Robert the Bruce, who, after fleeing in exile, organized a band of outlaws to fight the vastly larger English army via guerrilla warfare and became the first King of the Scots in 1306 until his death in 1329 at the age of 54. The mostly factually-accurate period film, which picks up where Mel Gibson’s 1996’s Oscar-winning William Wallace saga Braveheart ends, has all the requisite sumptuous visuals, costumes and entrails-spilling, testosterone-fueled, muddy battle scenes expected in such an epic period drama. But there is a less than epic feel to the paint-by-numbers story, despite fine performances from Pine, Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) who is particularly good as his first wife and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals) as his fiercely loyal second in command. Still, for history buffs, it’s worth checking out.
• Director David Mackenzie also worked with Chris Pine in 2016’s outstanding drama, Hell or High Water
• The now way over-hyped Chris Pine full frontal nude scene appears at the 1:27:54 mark – just don’t blink or you’ll miss it
• Scottish rebel leader William Wallace (or at least, his severed leg) makes a brief appearance in the first few minutes of the film