Neil Runge | Staff Writer
A historical narrative was brought to life on the small screen, including two hours of violence, lessons about honor, countless royals and adequate Scottish and British accents. All of this makes up Netflix’s new movie, Outlaw King, released this past Friday.
Chris Pine stars as the lead of this movie — based on a true story — as Robert the Bruce, a Scottish warrior that was exiled by the English for rebelling against King Edward. After Robert’s father passes, and the king makes it obvious that the nobles he rules over won’t be shown any kindness, Robert decides to start a new rebellion.
After the spark of rebellion is ignited, the rest of the movie follows Robert, James Douglas, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and many others as they reclaim their own land. Through stealthy takedowns and all-out battles against the strongest army in the world at that time, they take back what is rightfully theirs.
Pine gives an astounding performance. He has mastered the ability to play a leader that is also a man of the people but still manages to lead the charge into dangerous battles that will result in the deaths of his allies. His female counterpart, Elizabeth de Burgh, played by Florence Pugh, was delightful to watch. Elizabeth has the poise and commanding personality that is perfect match for Robert, and Pugh has the acting skills to stand toe-to-toe with Pine.
Even though Taylor-Johnson didn’t have as much screen time as the other actors, he used his time wisely. He displayed a funny yet ruthless Douglas who, after the events of the movie, went on to be called Good Sir James and the Black Douglas, showing that the real life counterpart that Taylor-Johnson played was both kind and ruthless.
Now, there’s the nude scene everyone seems to be talking about. It wasn’t worth the hype it received before the movie was released. It was a faraway blurry shot for what seemed to be two seconds. From all the talk it was getting, the expectation was that Pine’s full frontal nude scene would go on for minutes and it would be made up of close up shots and cameras that slowly pan up his body. It was actually just a king bathing in a river standing then a cut to him getting dressed. It seemed like this nude scene was going to distract from the film but it doesn’t. It’s just a simple, ordinary scene.
This movie is easy to follow even if you don’t know anything about the people or events it’s based on. Facts are displayed across the screen before the opening notes of the score even start. They give all the background information someone would need to catch up on their Scottish history.
Outlaw King is also a violent war film and historically dense narrative packed to the brim with accurate costumes and locations and a film score that amps everything up to 11. It’s perfect for history buffs or just someone who wants a good action movie.