Braveheart * * * * 1/2


Director: Mel Gibson.
Screenplay: Randall Wallace.
Starring: Mel Gibson, Patrick McGoohan, Brendan Gleeson, Sophie Marceau, Catherine McCormack, Angus MacFadyen, Ian Bannen, James Cosmo, David O’Hara, James Robinson, Sean McGinley, Sean Lawlor, Peter Hanly, Alun Armstrong, Gerard McSorley, Tommy Flanagan, David McKay, Peter Mullan, Brian Cox.

My being Scottish is probably not going to consist of the most accurate of reviews regarding this film but I will be totally straight up and admit that it is historical inaccurate on more than a few occasions. However, there’s no denying the spectacle and grand scale of the whole thing, harking back to epic films of the past.

13th century Scottish peasant William Wallace (Mel Gibson), who after the raping and pillaging of his village and the death of his wife by the English army, takes it upon himself to make a stand and fight back. He assembles an army of his own and refuses to succumb to the rule of King Edward the Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan) inciting an uprising amongst the Scottish people against the tyranny and oppression of the English.

As mentioned earlier, there are several historical facts altered for dramatic effect but when the real history is looked into, I wonder why it was altered. William Wallace’s life needed no further exaggeration but then again it’s Hollywood we have on the battlefield here. Speaking of which, the battle scenes are brutally and violently depicted and expertly shot by Gibson. He takes us straight back to the harsh conditions and environment of the people at this time in history and manages to give depth to the characters involved, regardless of their screen time. McGoohan in particular is absolutley superb as the bitter and determined King Edward and despite a dodgy Scottish accent, Gibson equips himself well as Wallace. Wonderfully powerful music by James Horner also, not to mention some fine cinematography by John Toll.

An epic film that competes on every level with the best of the genre and the only reason I don’t give it five stars is incase my judgement has been clouded by Scottish bias.

Mark Walker


2 Responses to “Braveheart * * * * 1/2”

  1. As a standalone film, this is close to perfect . Btw, the scriptwriter’s last name is …Wallace. 😉 Nice review.

    “William Wallace: Aye. Fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!”


    • Yeah, the script writer, Randall Wallace stumbled upon the history on a visit to Scotland and found it interesting that there was this Scottish hero that he shared names with. That what inspired him to write the screenplay. 🙂


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