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Enraged at the slaughter of Murron, his new bride and childhood love, Scottish warrior William Wallace slays a platoon of the local English lord's soldiers. This leads the village to revolt and, eventually, the entire country to rise up against English rule.
I suppose if this is one of your first war films, you'll enjoy it, but after you've taken on even a handful of far superior war films like The Battle of Algiers, Apocalypse Now, or Paths of Glory, this one (with grumpy old Gibson casting himself as a 25 year-old) will just seem silly.
Nicely shot, decent script (perhaps a bit too infused with 20th century sensibilities, though). The film justifies its epic running length; nothing felt padded. Love affair between Mel and Sophie Marceau was gratuitous and felt tacked on. Cast is fairly bland. Was Gibson ever a good actor?
Well, all in all not such a bad movie.
Probably the best thing about it is the absolutely wonderful soundtrack - me and my friends used to love listening to it years before I even saw the movie. The landscapes are beautiful as well… though I hear lots of it was shot outside of Scotland.
All in all, a basically interesting storyline - sadly with some historical inaccuracies. Some minor characters were a bit one-dimensional, but I liked Hamish and Robert the Bruce and also the crazy Irish guy.
I'm a bit torn when it comes to Mel Gibson's performance here… although I liked the battlesome and slightly crazy attitude (esp. when his face was painted blue) there were other scenes that didn't really appeal to me. Generally OK, though.
OK entertainment, not bad, not exceptionally good either. And not one I'd necessarily want to watch a second time.
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Currently in 20 official lists, but has been in 24