Outlaw King

Last updated

Outlaw King
OutlawKingPoster.jpeg
Promotional poster
Directed by David Mackenzie
Written by
Produced by
Starring
Cinematography Barry Ackroyd
Edited by Jake Roberts
Music byGrey Dogs
Production
companies
Distributed by Netflix
Release dates
  • September 6, 2018 (2018-09-06)(TIFF)
  • November 9, 2018 (2018-11-09)(United States)
Running time
121 minutes
Countries
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$120 million [1]

Outlaw King, stylized as Outlaw/King, is a 2018 historical action drama film about 14th-century Scottish king Robert the Bruce during the Scottish Wars of Independence. The film largely takes place during the 3-year period from 1304, when Bruce decides to rebel against the rule of Edward I over Scotland, up to the 1307 Battle of Loudoun Hill. Outlaw King was co-written, produced, and directed by David Mackenzie. [2] [3] [4]

Contents

The film starred an ensemble cast led by Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce, alongside Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, Billy Howle, Sam Spruell, Tony Curran, Callan Mulvey, James Cosmo, and Stephen Dillane. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 6, 2018, and was digitally released on November 9, 2018, by Netflix. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its production design, sets, performances, and choreography, but criticism for its historical inaccuracies and clichés.

Plot

In 1304, outside the besieged Stirling Castle, John Comyn, Robert Bruce, and other Scottish nobility surrender to Edward I of England. He demands their homage to get their land back.

Afterwards, Bruce spars with Edward's heir, the Prince of Wales, and is wed to his goddaughter, Elizabeth de Burgh. Lord James Douglas arrives, asking for the restoration of his ancestral lands but is denied, due to previous Lord Douglas' treason. The King and Prince depart Scotland, leaving Comyn and Bruce in charge, under watch of the Earl of Pembroke Aymer de Valence.

Elizabeth marries Bruce, but he respectfully delays the consummation. Not long after, his father, the Lord of Annandale, dies, fearing his ended friendship with the King of England may have been an error.

Soon after, while delivering taxes to the English, Bruce notes their unpopularity. Rioting follows William Wallace being quartered. He plans another revolt and his family agrees. Trying to persuade John Comyn to join them, he threatens to inform Edward. Panicked, Bruce kills him. The Scottish clergy offers him a pardon if he supports the Catholic Church in Scotland and he accepts the Crown of Scotland deal. King Edward hears of it, declaring Bruce an outlaw. His son, Prince of Wales is sent to crush the uprising, with the king's order that no quarter to be shown to any Bruce supporter.

Calling a council of nobles, most refuse to break their oaths to Edward. Despite the lack of support, Bruce heads to Scone to be crowned king of Scots. On the way, Douglas pledges his allegiance. Ambitious de Valence tries to move against Bruce before the Prince arrives. To avoid bloodshed he challenges de Valence to single combat, who accepts but delays the duel a day, as it is Sunday. That night, Bruce finally consummates his marriage, but the English launch a surprise attack. His wife and Marjorie Bruce are sent to safety with his brother Nigel, and he fights a losing battle, during which most of the Scottish army is killed. Escaping with fifty men, they flee to Islay. On the way, John MacDougall parleys with them, bitter about the murder of his cousin Comyn but allows them to pass. Later, however, he attacks Bruce's entourage as they attempt to cross Loch Ryan. Some get away in boats, but Bruce's brother Alexander dies.

Prince Edward arrives in Scotland, searching for Bruce at Kildrummy Castle, only to find Bruce's wife, daughter, and brother. The prince has his brother hanged, drawn, and quartered, and sends the daughter and wife to England. Bruce's company meets up with Lord Mackinnon, who refuses to lend them any men. The band presses on to Islay anyway; there, they learn of the fall of Kildrummy Castle. Bruce decides to take back the castle through stealth. The successful operation inspires him to begin guerilla warfare. Shortly thereafter, Bruce is reunited with his other brother, Thomas. In England, Marjorie is separated from Elizabeth to go to the nunnery. After Edward hears Douglas Castle has been re-taken, he goes after Bruce himself. He offers Elizabeth a pardon if she annuls her marriage to Robert, but she refuses and is placed in a hanging cage.

King Edward dies shortly after arriving in Scotland, and the Prince of Wales takes over his forces. Bruce fights the new king in a pitched battle at Loudoun Hill, despite being outnumbered six to one. Clan Mackinnon arrives to aid Bruce. As Edward's army is composed almost entirely of cavalry, Robert overcomes his army's size disadvantage in the battle with a spear wall hidden by a ditch. Attempting to attack the flanks, horsemen become bogged down in the mud, as anticipated. The English knights fall from their horses, many are slain, and the battle becomes an open brawl, where the ferocious Scots prevail over the disoriented English soldiers. Realising the battle is hopeless, de Valence orders a retreat. However, determined to kill his nemesis, Edward does not join them. Instead, he duels Bruce as the Scots look on. Edward soon starts to lose, and realising he is about to be slain, he vomits in fear and cries for help. Bruce prevails, allowing Edward to leave unharmed.

In the epilogue: Elizabeth was released, the Prince of Wales was crowned King Edward II, then killed by his own lords. Three hundred years later, Robert's descendant unified the crowns of England and Scotland, and Sir James Douglas’ descendant, Marion Hamilton, married Kentigern Hunter, who died at the battle of Pinkie Cleugh, the last battle between England and Scotland before the union of the crowns, in 1547.

Cast

Production

Principal photography began on 28 August 2017 on location in both Scotland and England. Filming took place in various locations including Linlithgow Palace & Loch, and St Michael's Parish Church, [12] Borthwick Castle, Doune Castle, Craigmillar Castle, [13] Dunfermline Abbey, [14] Glasgow Cathedral, [15] Muiravonside Country Park, Mugdock Country Park, [16] [17] Aviemore, Isle of Skye (Talisker Bay, Coral Beaches and Loch Dunvegan), Glen Coe, Loch Lomond, Gargunnock, University of Glasgow, [18] Blackness Castle, [19] Seacliff Beach and Berwick-upon-Tweed [20] and Tweedmouth (the latter two both in Northumberland - Berwick-upon-Tweed's bridge doubling for London Bridge). Principal production concluded in November 2017. [21]

Release

The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 6, 2018. [22] The premiere's runtime of 137 minutes and its pacing were criticised in early reviews, and Mackenzie subsequently cut nearly 20 minutes from the film. [21] Cut material includes a battle scene, a major confrontation backdropped by a waterfall, an eight-minute chase sequence, and a scene in which Pine's character meets William Wallace in the woods. [23] [24] The film had its European premiere at the London Film Festival in October 2018 [25] and was commercially released on November 9, 2018. [26]

Reception

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval of 62% based on 150 reviews, and an average rating of 6.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Muddy and bloody to a fault, Outlaw King doesn't skimp on the medieval battle scenes, but tends to lose track of the fact-based legend at the heart of its story." [27] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". [28]

Accolades

AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryRecipientsResultRef.
Visual Effects Society Awards February 5, 2019 Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature Alex Bicknell, Dan Bethell, Greg O’Connor, Stefano PepinNominated [29]

Historical authenticity

The film's depiction of the Battle of Loudoun Hill takes many liberties. Map of Battle of Loudoun Hill (Outlaw King).svg
The film's depiction of the Battle of Loudoun Hill takes many liberties.
The real Battle of Loudoun Hill Map of Battle of Loudoun Hill.svg
The real Battle of Loudoun Hill

The film implies that Robert I ("Robert the Bruce") began his rebellion almost immediately after the execution of William Wallace, implying that he intended to avenge Wallace. He began his rebellion a full year after Wallace's death. During the intermediate period, Edward I became suspicious of Robert I and ordered him to stay at Kildrummy Castle. [30]

The film shows Robert I marrying Elizabeth de Burgh after surrendering to Edward I. Bruce's second marriage actually occurred years before in 1302.

The film's depiction of Edward II's role in the Battle of Loudoun Hill is heavily flawed. It is unlikely that he was present at the battle in any capacity. Moreover, it is certain that he would not have challenged Bruce to single combat. Even if he had been present and challenged Bruce to personal combat, a hostage as valuable as Edward II would not have been allowed to flee. [30]

In addition to Edward II's presence, the depiction of the Battle of Loudoun Hill incorporates several other elements from the later and more decisive Battle of Bannockburn, such as the death of Robert de Clifford.

The title character in Outlaw King is that of an enigmatic and well-behaved man of the people who desires to restore Scotland to its inhabitants. However, historian Fiona Watson notes the real Robert I was most likely cold, canny, and driven by his personal ambition. [31]

The color yellow is mostly absent from the clothing of the fighting men. In contrast, yellow dye was not only the most common dye in Scotland during the period, it was highly favoured by the fighters with the means to afford it. Historian Fergus Cannan notes that while many historical writers comment on its prevalence, it remains absent from appearances in popular culture related to Scottish history. [32]

The film depicts the character of Edward II as a cruel and oppressive person who is eager to succeed his father despite any historical evidence of Edward II having displayed such traits. On the contrary, Edward II was reluctant to assume the mantle of kingship and was known to be generous with his servants. [32]

The film portrays Edward I dying before the battle of Loudoun Hill when, in actuality, he died several months later. Furthermore, the film implies that Edward I was buried where he died when, in fact, he was interred at Westminster Abbey in London.

In the film, when Robert I tells his brothers about his plan to start a rebellion, artichokes can be seen on the table. However, artichokes were not introduced to the British Isles until the 16th century. [33]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert the Bruce</span> King of Scotland (r. 1306–1329)

Robert I, popularly known as Robert the Bruce, was King of Scots from 1306 to his death in 1329. One of the most renowned warriors of his generation, Robert eventually led Scotland during the First War of Scottish Independence against England. He fought successfully during his reign to regain Scotland's place as an independent kingdom and is now revered in Scotland as a national hero.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wars of Scottish Independence</span> War of national liberation between Scotland and England

The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Bannockburn</span> 1314 battle during the First War of Scottish Independence

The Battle of Bannockburn fought on June 23–24, 1314, was a victory of the army of King of Scots Robert the Bruce over the army of King Edward II of England in the First War of Scottish Independence. It was a major turning point in the war, which only officially ended 14 years later with the de jure restoration of Scottish independence under the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton; for this reason, Bannockburn is considered a landmark moment in Scottish history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Methven</span> Battle at Methven, Scotland on 19 June 1306, during the Wars of Scottish Independence

The Battle of Methven took place at Methven, Scotland on 19 June 1306, during the Wars of Scottish Independence. The battlefield was researched to be included in the Inventory of Historic Battlefields in Scotland and protected by Historic Scotland under the Scottish Historical Environment Policy of 2009, but was excluded due to the uncertainty of its location.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Isabella of Mar</span> Countess of Carrick

Isabella of Mar was the first wife of Robert Bruce VII, Earl of Carrick. Isabella died before her husband was crowned King of Scotland. She and her husband were the grandparents of Robert II, King of Scotland, founder of the Royal House of Stuart.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kildrummy Castle</span> Ruined castle in Kildrummy, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Kildrummy Castle is a ruined castle near Kildrummy, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Though ruined, it is one of the most extensive castles dating from the 13th century to survive in eastern Scotland, and was the seat of the Earls of Mar. It is owned today by Historic Environment Scotland and is open to the public as a scheduled ancient monument with gardens that are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Douglas, Lord of Douglas</span> Scottish knight and feudal lord

Sir James Douglas was a Scottish knight and feudal lord. He was one of the chief commanders during the Wars of Scottish Independence.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">First War of Scottish Independence</span> 1296–1328 war between English and Scottish forces

The First War of Scottish Independence was the first of a series of wars between English and Scottish forces. It lasted from the English invasion of Scotland in 1296 until the de jure restoration of Scottish independence with the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton in 1328. De facto independence was established in 1314 at the Battle of Bannockburn. The wars were caused by the attempts of the English kings to establish their authority over Scotland while Scots fought to keep English rule and authority out of Scotland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan</span> Scottish noblewoman, figure in the Wars of Scottish Independence

Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan, was a significant figure in the Wars of Scottish Independence.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale</span> Scottish nobleman (1243–1304)

Robert de Brus, 6th Lord of Annandale, jure uxoris Earl of Carrick (1252–1292), Lord of Hartness, Writtle and Hatfield Broad Oak, was a cross-border lord, and participant of the Second Barons' War, Ninth Crusade, Welsh Wars, and First War of Scottish Independence, as well as father to the future king of Scotland Robert the Bruce.

The Battle of Glen Trool was a minor engagement in the First War of Scottish Independence, fought in April 1307. Glen Trool is a narrow glen in the Southern Uplands of Galloway, Scotland. Loch Trool is aligned on an east–west axis and is flanked on both sides by steep rising hills, making it ideal for an ambush. The battlefield is currently under research to be inventoried and protected by Historic Scotland under the Scottish Historical Environment Policy of 2009.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Clan Bruce</span> Scottish family from Kincardine in Scotland; Royal House

Clan Bruce is a Lowlands Scottish clan. It was a Royal House in the 14th century, producing two kings of Scotland, and a disputed High King of Ireland, Edward Bruce.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Culblean</span> Battle on 30 November 1335, during the Second War of Scottish Independence

The Battle of Culblean was fought on 30 November 1335, during the Second War of Scottish Independence. The Scots, led by the Guardian, Sir Andrew Murray, achieved bigotry over an Anglo-Scots force commanded by David III Strathbogie, titular Earl of Atholl and a leading supporter of Edward Balliol.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of the Pass of Brander</span> Battle part of the civil war between the Bruce and Balliol factions

The Battle of the Pass of Brander in Scotland forms a small part of the wider struggle known as the Wars of Scottish Independence, and a large part of the civil war between the Bruce and Balliol factions, a parallel and overlapping conflict. It was a victory for King Robert the Bruce over the MacDougalls of Argyll, kinsmen of John Comyn, also known as the Red Comyn, who had been killed by Bruce and his adherents at Dumfries in 1306. The sources do not allow us to determine the date of the battle with any degree of precision: various dates between 1308 and 1309 have been suggested, though the late summer of 1308 would seem to be the most likely. Traquair dates it to August 1308.

The Battle of Inverurie, also known as the Battle of Barra, was fought in the north-east of Scotland and was a victory for the Scottish king Robert Bruce over his chief domestic enemy, John Comyn, 3rd Earl of Buchan. Though part of the wider Wars of Scottish Independence, it is more properly viewed as an episode in a brief but bitter civil war. It was followed by the Harrying of Buchan, a violent act of destruction of property long remembered with bitterness in Buchan. The battle was fought in May 1308 according to Fordun. However, Barbour states clearly that it was fought at Christmas of 1307. Many current historians accept Fordun's date, but Barron and some others believe that Bower misinterpreted Fordun's notes. The battlefield was added to the Inventory of Historic Battlefields in Scotland in 2011.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Dalrigh</span> Battle of Scottish Independence

The Battle of Dalrigh, also known as the Battle of Dail Righ, Battle of Dalry or Battle of Strathfillan, was fought in 1306 between the army of King Robert the Bruce against Clan MacDougall of Argyll, who were allies of Clan Comyn and the English. It took place at the hamlet of Dalrigh near Tyndrum in Perthshire, Scotland. Bruce's army, reeling westwards after defeat by the English on 19 June at the Battle of Methven, was intercepted and all but destroyed, with Bruce himself narrowly escaping capture. The battle took place sometime between July and early August, but the exact date is unknown.

The Battle of Slioch was a minor skirmish in the First War of Scottish Independence. Although the encounter was inconclusive, the domestic enemies of the Scottish King Robert Bruce were unable to stop him from consolidating his rule over Scotland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Clan Cumming</span> Scottish clan

Clan Cumming, also known as Clan Comyn, is a Scottish clan from the central Highlands that played a major role in the history of 13th-century Scotland and in the Wars of Scottish Independence. The Clan Comyn was once the most powerful family in 13th-century Scotland, until they were defeated in civil war by their rival to the Scottish throne, Robert the Bruce.

The English invasion of Scotland of 1296 was a military campaign undertaken by Edward I of England in retaliation to the Scottish treaty with France and the renouncing of fealty of John, King of Scotland and Scottish raids into Northern England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Talbot, 2nd Baron Talbot</span> English nobleman

Richard Talbot, 2nd Baron Talbot was an English nobleman and soldier. As the husband of the heiress Elizabeth de Comyn, he played a role in the Second War of Scottish Independence.

References

  1. Lambrechts, Stephen (21 August 2018). "Netflix goes full Braveheart with first trailer for historical epic, Outlaw King". TechRadar . Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  2. Fleming, Mike Jr. (24 April 2017). "Netflix Lands Outlaw King". Deadline. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  3. "First Look At Chris Pine In David Mackenzie's 'Outlaw King'". Playlist. 8 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  4. "New Netflix drama Outlaw King boosts film sector". BBC. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  5. Fleming, Mike Jr. (27 July 2017). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson Plays Scottish hero James Douglas". Deadline. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  6. Fleming, Mike Jr. (7 August 2017). "Florence Pugh Nabs Lead in Netflix's 'Outlaw King'". Deadline. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  7. N'Duka, Amanda (18 August 2017). "David Mackenzie's 'Outlaw King' Adds Billy Howle". Deadline. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  8. "Tony Curran on Twitter". Twitter. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  9. Greenaway, Heather (19 August 2018). "Unforgotten star warns fans will be shocked when killer revealed". Daily Record. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  10. "Film News Roundup: Callan Mulvey Joins Chris Pine's Scottish Drama 'Outlaw King'". Variety. 7 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  11. "Steven Cree on Twitter". Twitter. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  12. "Palace reopens after being set for new Netflix production". Daily Record. 2 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  13. "Outlaw King Filming Location Spotlight: Craigmillar Castle Edinburgh". Wayfaring Kiwi. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  14. "Cameras arrive in Dunfermline for new Netflix film on Robert the Bruce". Dunfermline Press. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  15. "Outlaw King film star Chris Pine spotted at Glasgow Cathedral". HeraldScotland. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  16. "Outlaw King film crew build medieval village around Mugdock Castle". The Scotsman. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  17. "Chris Pine gives special salute to photographers during filming of new Robert the Bruce Netflix show". Daily Reocord. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  18. Aitchison, Jack (18 November 2017). "Outlaw King films at Glasgow Uni as campus transforms into medieval banquet hall". dailyrecord. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  19. Grant, Jackie (26 November 2017). "Outlaw King stars brave Scottish cold snap during filming of Robert the Bruce Netflix drama". dailyrecord. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  20. "Berwick transformed as Outlaw King filming begins". The Scotsman. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  21. 1 2 D'Alessandro, Anthony (23 September 2018). "'Outlaw King' Filmmaker David Mackenzie Trims Netflix Epic By 20 Minutes Post Toronto Premiere".
  22. Erbland, Kate (14 August 2018). "TIFF Announces Chris Pine-Starring 'Outlaw King' Will Open Festival and Kristen Stewart's 'Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy' to Close". IndieWire . Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  23. Ehrlich, David (8 November 2018). "How David Mackenzie Salvaged 'Outlaw King' After the Netflix Oscar Hopeful Crashed and Burned".
  24. TIFF 2018: David Mackenzie’s Bloody Epic Outlaw King
  25. "62nd BFI London Film Festival programme announced". BFI. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  26. Kroll, Justin (30 July 2018). "Florence Pugh Lands Female Lead in 'Hereditary' Director Ari Aster's Next Film". Variety . Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  27. "Outlaw King (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango . Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  28. "Outlaw King reviews". Metacritic . Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  29. Tapley, Kristopher (15 January 2019). "'Avengers,' 'Lost in Space,' 'Ready Player One' Lead Visual Effects Society Nominations". Variety.
  30. 1 2 "How Historically Accurate is the Outlaw King?". Dailyhistory. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  31. Finlay, Greig. "What 'Outlaw King' gets wrong - according to a historian". Scotsman.com. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  32. 1 2 Carlton, Genevieve. "Everything 'Outlaw King' Gets Wrong About History And Robert The Bruce". Ranker. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  33. Wheaton, Barbara Ketcham (1983). Savouring the Past. New York: Touchstone Books. pp. 66–67.