Outlaw King Review - Gripping, Stunning, Captivating

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Outlaw King, from Netflix, Sigma Films and Anonymous Content, presents the historical and epic odyssey of bravery, triumph, heartache and separation as the 14th century Scottish King hunted by the English Army used the land they desired to defeat them.

Directed by David Mackenzie, Outlaw King stars Chris Pine, Elizabeth Burgh, Josie O'Brien, Stephen Dillane, Rebecca Robin, Billy Howle, Paul Blair, Sam Spruell, Jonny Phillips, Ben Clifford, Jamie Maclachlan, Duncan Lacroix, Kevin Mains, Callan Mulvey, Steven Cree, Tony Curran, James Cosmo, Lorne MacFadyen, Jack Greenlees and Chris Fulton.

Outlaw King begins after a time of war in 14th Century England as the Scots fought hard to keep their independence. Even as the King Edward I of England played by Stephen Dillane absolves everyone from the sin of rising and fighting against him and the Great United Kingdom animosity runs deep.


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The time of peace is cause for a celebration with Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, played by Chris Pine, and the king's son and heir, Edward, Prince of Wales, played by Billy Howle, enjoying a friendly wager as the younger Edward believes title overpowers might and cancels intelligence.

One embolden possibly by drink or the hour is James Douglas, Lord of the Douglas, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who beseeches the King to return his land that was stolen in the war. He is denied and again implores the King for the return of his land. His denied and banished with his name stricken.

At the dinner, the King explains to Robert Bruce it is important for a man to marry, and so his God-daughter, Elizabeth Burgh, played by Florence Pugh is of marring age and it is a good match.

After Robert Bruce returns home, he explains to his daughter, Marjorie, played by Josie O'Brien, he is to marry by order of the King. His father Robert Bruce Senior, played by James Cosmo and brothers, Neil Bruce, played by Lorne MacFadyen, Alexander, played by Jack Greenlees, and Euan played by Chris Fulton, that Elizabeth will be arriving.

As she approaches we learn his first wife died in childbirth, and the marriage is not of his plan, it is the Kings plan to keep him thinking about the safety of a wife and daughter and not of rising to reclaim his land.

Whatever the deep distraction a beautiful wife can be, the darkness of servitude in one's own land and free exile, a prisoner in ones own country overpowers the desires that might serve to comfort in a time of peace and prosperity.

After the marriage, his father passes leaving Robert Bruce as leader of the Bruce clan. He, as rightful King of the Scots, of the people, he moves to gather those who may oppose his rule. Treachery and threats are ended.

Soon Robert Bruce is named King of the Scots and his army, a mere fifty men, with the loyalty of Angus Og MacDonald, Lord of Islay, played by Tony Curran, his brothers and the banished James  Douglas along with those who tire of taxes and imposition of absolute rule.

The word of course of the new uprising against the King of England, allows the Prince of Wales to exhibit his belief that power and privilege overpowers passion and ingenuity.

Outlaw King is cinematically thrilling. The story is compelling and the fight bloody as the deeply resentful and passionate people and a power hungry King clash each driven by destiny.

As the title depicts the King is on the run throughout Scotland. Shot on location the cinematography is gorgeous, sweeping vistas, the hillsides of Scotland, a beautiful green land with crystal lakes and stunning beaches.

It is brilliantly acted with almost a tiered ensemble of players, the first circle followed by the supporting ensemble and then the larger day/supporting cast. The director has captured time with an authenticity. There is no doubt as to the day, time, and season.

The battle and wage of war is epic. Civility is gone, and as we learn England "Raises the Dragon" to denote the wrath the Throne feels toward this attempt of independence and reclaim the land. The wage of war is costly.


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Ending in a climactic battle, the Outlaw King and his army are determined against loss, death, power, circumstance, armed with faith, passion, inventiveness, belief and a love of the land, the bog filled, muddy, beautiful Scotland.

Outlaw King is captivating, a epic masterpiece. Beautiful captured, impressive action sequences, breathtaking cinematography, gripping story and excellent, acting.

Outlaw King begins its streaming reign November 9, 2018. Netflix awaits; Binge away.

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