MOVIE REVIEW: “Braveheart” stars Mel Gibson (Mad Max, Blood Father), Patrick McGoohan (Escape from Alcatraz, Secret Agent [TV series]), Brendan Gleeson (Edge of Tomorrow, Gangs of New York), Catherine McCormack (28 Weeks Later, Spy Game), Tommy Flanagan (Gladiator, Sin City), Angus MacFadyen (We Bought a Zoo, Saw III), Sophie Marceau (The World Is Not Enough, Firelight), James Cosmo (Trainspotting, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe), Peter Hanly (Ballykissangel [TV series], Guiltrip), Alun Armstrong (New Tricks [TV series], The Mummy Returns), and John Murtagh (Rob Roy, Beautiful Creatures). It is directed by Mel Gibson and written by Randall Wallace (Pearl Harbor , Heaven Is For Real). In 13th century Scotland, the Scottish grow tired of English rule and seek freedom from its tyranny. Out emerges a man named William Wallace (Gibson), who loses his one true love to the people who have taken from his homeland far before he was born. Wallace must take action, as Scotland’s freedom must be taken by force rather than granted by England.
There are many classic films that I haven’t seen; more so than you would think for a movie critic. One of those classics is the 1995 epic, “Braveheart.” Spanning almost three hours in runtime, this feature tells the true tale of William Wallace, and his impact on 13th century Scotland. With Mel Gibson directing, producing, and starring in the film, it’s hard to believe how the man pulled it off. This picture is fantastic and proves why epics can be some of the most artistic, well-developed wonders of the cinema realm. It wasn’t simply about Wallace, but of Scotland itself, and how freedom is a right rather than a privilege. This is exhibited by Gibson’s great direction, seeping the audience into medieval Scottish culture and attaching them to the characters that live in it. I loved watching this spectacle, and for many reasons. The first would be its cinematography. Locations make this film look beautiful, and the cinematography captures Scotland in the best of ways. I loved some of the shots in this that gave a wide range of landscapes, as well as the tasteful angles that worked in favor of the plot. At this point in his career, Gibson is a pro, and uses his cinema smarts to make this both an engaging and awesome experience. Speaking of awesome, the fight scenes and overall epicness of this tale spark the second point to be made. Gibson is known for his violence, and there is plenty of it in this film. Arms and legs are severed, arrows plunge into people’s bodies, and heads get decapitated. In the heat of battle, it is pure awesomeness because of the amount of tenacity these actors bring to the table; both the main and extras. Thankfully, Gibson’s directing made sure to show these moments in the best of ways, without quick cuts that spring up left and right constantly. The scope of these battles alone should grow a man some chest hair just watching, especially with the famous speech given by Wallace before one of the fights. I loved this story, primarily because of its richness in characters. There are a few perspectives to look at in this picture in order to tell history and even though some of them provided dry spots, I found the development to be just the way I like it. I mean, you would expect to get to know these characters in a three hour span, and the actors performing these roles were strict professionals. The comradery and chemistry amongst some of these actors were fantastic. I felt for them and what they were fighting for, and I believe that’s the best compliment I can give Gibson for his piece. This movie certainly pulls at the heartstrings in some parts because of how close you grow to these figures. So close, in fact, that it happens to be the shortest three hour film I’ve ever seen. What does that mean? Well, it’s smooth in pacing. Hardly did I realize that it was twelve in the morning and I’ve been watching it since nine-thirty. Sure, I mentioned that there were a few dry spots, but not a significant amount to where it pulls me out of the film. I was captivated throughout the experience, and it’s all due to the wonderful work performed by cast and crew. A final point I must make towards this film’s greatness is the musical score that glues every aesthetic together. James Horner did a terrific job in his composition, really digging for that Scottish feel with flutes and string instruments. Listening to the score as I type this pulls me right back into the story, even though I’m not watching it. I’ve seen a few epics in my lifetime, ranging from the “Lord of the Rings” films to “The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston. These movies are all amazing in their own respects, but I believe that “Braveheart” exceeds them. It may be an unpopular opinion, but it’s my own, and I have many points to back it up. Say what you will, however it all comes down to tastes. I didn’t find many issues with this release besides a few spots where the story runs dry. Overall, it’s a spectacular epic that I implore anyone of age and manly enough to see! FINAL SCORE: 97%= Juicy Popcorn
This movie has been inducted into The Juicy Hall of Fame.
Here is the trailer: