Reviewed on 2010 April 16
I don’t care that Mel Gibson is not someone whom I’d care to sit next to at a cocktail party, or that people complained this was about as historically accurate as a spin in the WABAC Machine with Mr. Peabody, or even that the makeup department got overzealous and made Robert the Bruce senior look like a Mr. Potato Head some kid left on the microwave. This is one of my favorite movies.
King Edward I of England (Patrick McGoohan) treated Scotland as his private property and its inhabitants as servants or worse for years, continuing a line of iron-fisted English rule. William Wallace (Mel Gibson) was orphaned at a young age when his father fought for freedom, and he grew up in Europe with his uncle Argyle (Bryan Cox). As he returns to Scotland as an adult, he wants nothing more than a life of peace with his beloved Murron (Catherine McCormack), but he realizes he or his countrymen are going to get any peace or freedom unless they become independent. They will have to fight for their liberty.
I know this is not what happened, and I am fine with that, because I enjoy this so much. We get epic battles, some history however skewed, men in kilts, and William Wallace, shall we say, negotiating creatively with the English. Sophie Marceau made a great and shrewd Queen Isabelle and Patrick McGoohan was a perfectly loathsome Longshanks. This might be part an interesting Tax Day film fest, especially if you paired it with Gladiator and 300.
Three chocolate morsels and a wee bit of Drambuie.