OUTLAW KING

"Not the Most Riveting Historical Epic You’ll See"

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Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

OUTLAW KING is a good, but not great historical-epic about Robert the Bruce and the Scottish war of liberation in the early 1300s. OUTLAW KING is a mixed bag with some terrific Christian elements and moral themes of fighting for freedom, liberty and the oppressed, but there’s excessive violence and an explicit, gratuitous sex scene that warrants extreme caution.

Review:

OUTLAW KING is a good, but not great historical-epic about Robert the Bruce and the Scottish war of liberation in the early 1300s.

England delivered a brutal blow to the Scottish rebellion by capturing William Wallace, the rebel of mythic-proportions who was leading the charge. The movie starts as Robert the Bruce (played by Chris Pine) and many other Lords of Scotland who had sided against Edward I of England now pledge their allegiance to Edward because the rebellion is nearly dead. Though their people will be heavily taxed and governed by England with an iron fist, their lives are spared. Meanwhile, Robert is even given a new wife – Elizabeth de Burgh, Edward’s god-daughter.

The marriage between Robert and Elizabeth is by all means a political one, meant to unite the Scottish and English. However, Robert and his brothers worry if their father made the right choice by submitting to Edward. Robert brings his new bride Elizabeth to his home, where he already has a young daughter, Marjorie, whose mother died in childbirth. Robert and Elizabeth at first are distant, since they don’t know each other, but slowly grow fond of one another.

Not long after the Bruces pledge loyalty to England, word is spread that William Wallace was executed, and his limbs are put on display in various towns. With their father now passed away, Robert decides, along with his brothers, that they must fight again against the English, win back their freedom and claim what Robert believes is his family’s right to be the Kings of Scotland. To do so, however, Robert will have to inspire people to follow him into war, even though he’s never won a battle.

When Edward I hears of Robert’s rebellion and claim of the crown of Scotland, he and his wicked son terrorize the towns of Scotland to discourage people to join Robert the Bruce. Will Scotland find its freedom?

OUTLAW KING has some great attention to historic detail, with terrific costumes, sets and stunning cinematography. There are several powerful and poignant scenes. Chris Pine is delivers a convincing performance as Robert the Bruce. At times, however, he verges between being too melodramatic and too understated.

The movie has a positive Christian and biblical worldview about fighting for freedom and for the oppressed, decency, honor, with multiple Christian moments in cathedrals. Characters pray to God, and Robert the Bruce states that while he has flaws, he tries to be a good man. That said, some on the English side who also claim Christianity commit horrible atrocities to the Scottish people, because ultimately they serve the King over God. While Robert expresses his desire for justice and mercy, his hatred toward the English becomes animalistic, telling his men to become “beasts” in battle and that it doesn’t matter why they fight, as long as they fight. This major flaw not only takes away the moral defensibility of their fight, but it diminishes the stakes of the final climactic battle because viewers lose the emotional impact of fighting for something worthwhile. Sadly, the poor direction during the final battle ends the movie on a muddled note.

OUTLAW KING will unavoidably be compared to Mel Gibson’s BRAVEHEART since it follows the events following William Wallace’s death and leading up to Scotland’s victory over Britain. While it’s more historically accurate than BRAVEHEART, it lacks the emotional impact that Mel Gibson’s movie had and won’t be as memorable.

OUTLAW KING also has extremely graphic battle violence with extreme gore, and a completely unnecessary sex scene between Robert and Elizabeth with explicit nudity. As a whole, the movie is pretty good, but had they tightened up the script and eliminated the lewd sex scene and nudity, OUTLAW KING could’ve been a great movie. Extreme caution is advised for adults.

Content:

(BB, CC, Ab, Pa, Fe, L, VVV, SSS, NNN, AA, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview of fighting for freedom, liberty, decency, with strong Christian elements, including a Christian wedding, funeral, prayer, and clergy require a man to repent of his crime, mixed with some anti-biblical elements where the heroes kill their enemies during a church service, some Christians are clearly hypocritical and evil, and some characters become vengeful, plus some light feminist undertones;

Foul Language:
Four obscenities (including two “f” words);

Violence:
Very strong graphic violence, with multiple battle scenes involving countless numbers of people dying by sword, soldiers and horses being impaled with spikes or spears, many people are stabbed with swords and knives in the throat, face, and neck, people are struck by arrows, a man is hung and is then cut open so his entrails fall out, dismembered body parts including heads and arms are displayed on monuments and spikes, people on fire, towns and villages are burned down;

Sex:
Explicit sex scene between a man and his wife with movements, sounds, and nudity, kissing between married couple, sexual gestures, reference to being “quick” in the bedroom, flirting, and a man pecks another man on the lips as a joke (not in a sexual way);

Nudity:
Upper female nudity multiple times (once in a sex scene), rear male nudity, and full front male nudity twice;

Alcohol Use:
Moderate drinking, with some drunkenness (but portrayed negatively);

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Lying, dishonoring parents and wagering.

In Brief:

OUTLAW KING is a good but not great historical-epic about Robert the Bruce and the Scottish war of liberation in the early 1300s. After fighting the English, the Bruce family along with other Scottish lords eventually pledge their loyalty to King Edward. However, when it’s announced that the Scottish warrior and rebel William Wallace was brutally executed, Robert the Bruce and his brothers go back on their oath to fight against the English. To do so, Robert will have to claim what he believes is his family’s right as the King of the Scots. However, to succeed, Robert must inspire the people to follow him and fight for their freedom.

OUTLAW KING has some great attention to historic detail, with terrific costumes, sets and stunning cinematography. The movie has multiple positive Christian elements, and strong themes of freedom and liberty, but there are questionable anti-biblical moments as well. OUTLAW KING also has extremely graphic battle violence with extreme gore, and a completely unnecessary sex scene. Otherwise, OUTLAW KING could’ve been a great movie. Extreme caution is advised for OUTLAW KING.

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