The Outlaw King is a Netflix Original film that follows the journey of Robert the Bruce (Chris Pine) as he battles to become King of the Scots. Things aren't looking great for the Scottish people after suffering great losses to the British and losing their full independence. It's only through this individual and his follower's actions that unite the people once again to battle this foreign enemy. It's an interesting and compressed tale of this long, bloody situation. At the start there's a beautiful one shot that goes on for quite a long time, it was impressive.
Basically the narrative starts right from the point of surrender and the division of this land. From there the group begins to form and attempts to battle against overwhelming odds. They really nail home the point of loss and that's a large part of the latter portion of this film. A long time is taken to set the stage and get us familiar with the core players. There is of course Robert, his young second wife Elizabeth (Florence Pugh) and a tight crew. There's also the opposition that's well developed and you get to see a core dynamic of both sides during the conflicts.
The pacing is interesting within Outlaw King as it takes its time presenting something distinctly different as we learn about this struggle. There's loss, a budding romance and some very gory scenes at play. It then gets much quicker with lots of war focused activities in the latter half and it seems to go by quickly. I almost had wanted more time spent to lengthen this aspect, but overall it came together in a fine way. I liked the presentation of the relationship between the Scottish king and queen, but that element trailed off considerably towards the end.
There were a number of interesting surprises throughout as well with the conflicts being rather intriguing. These were shot as intimate battles with high levels of violence, gore and a bit of mud. It doesn't always go how you expect it might and these situations tip the scales for a time of desperation that was fun to watch unfold. The film certainly doesn't shy away from the gore presenting it well, the same situation is present for the nudity and sexual content. This was well shot, the scenes were mostly gorgeous and it gave a good sense of scale. The visuals were great whether it was a calming discussion, hastened movement or all out war. It was certainly a gritty time, that's for sure.
The Outlaw King is an excellent take on this historical situation with a gritty sense of realism and an enjoyable narrative. The conflicts were well presented and the numbers of men involved within them felt expansive enough. There was quite a bit of gore and some rather intense scenes emulating the times. They did not shy away from that type of content and it's appreciated as it is nice to get something that comes across as authentic.
The sets were great, the various castles looked good and this is a solid time piece. The costumes were also rather amazing, well designed and they looked fantastic during combat or even the more joyous casual scenes. There's a bit of everything in here from romantic moments, to gritty violence and even a little bit of history. That last bit might be somewhat stretched, though it does get the just of the larger skirmish.
Outlaw King Review at Home with Streamed Viewing
Screening was Provided by Netflix