Historically, Chris Pine is one of these actors that grinds my gears. Later, he was just dandy in 2016’s Hell or High Water, and the film’s director, David Mackenzie, must have agreed, because he brought Pine along to star in his new Netflix film, The Outlaw King. This is the “untold” story of Robert the Bruce, which is actually a partially told story that already played out in Braveheart.
Essentially, Outlaw King appears to be Braveheart, only Mel Gibson was too busy building a new hot-tub-slash-rage-cage to take part in the sequel, even for flashback sequences. Darnit! Nothing moves a movie along like a good flashback sequence!
There’s the same English King, the same less than William Wallacey-Robert the Bruce and even the same horse charge onto wooden stakes! Yet, it lacks all of the emotion that made Braveheart, historically inaccurate or not, so great.
Chris Pine just seems so his name here. The trailer actually opens with a shot of him pining away in a boat. In fact, he doesn’t talk for so long that I was worried that they weren’t going to show him speak at all because the American actor’s Scottish brogue is too far off. Thankfully, he seems to have managed a passing attempt.
With only so many medieval heroes of note to choose from, it was only a matter of time before someone took another go at this story, even if from this slightly different angle. But did anyone else think we were about to get another Robin Hood film? We haven’t had an enjoyable one since 91’s Prince of Thieves. Based on the title and the “Where’s Robin” line 12 seconds in, I did. Whoops.