Released 1995 (USA)
American, in English (some translated French & Latin; some non-translated Latin & Scots Gaelic)
Director – Mel Gibson
Stars – Mel Gibson, Patrick McGoohan, and countless others
Set in early 14th century Great Britain. After his wife is murdered, Scottish man William Wallace (Gibson) leads a rebellion against his country’s English oppressors. McGoohan co-stars as the King of England, Edward I, aka Longshanks.
Blue language; extreme, graphic violence; brief nudity (female breast, male butt); and a graphic, attempted rape.
Toward the beginning, it has a bit too much of the 90s sugary sentimentality for my taste. I was seriously rolling my eyes during the lovemaking scene.
It’s a little boring/repetitive. There are only so many legs I can see get hacked off in battle before it ceases to have any shock value and actually becomes a bit tedious.
Most of the characters are too one-note. The only thing the English could have done to seem more villainous was twirl their mustaches while shouting “Muahaha!” The Scottish nobles are all corrupt and weak. The Scottish commoners, like Wallace, are all virtuous and brave. Ho hum, I say.
There are a few small scenes that I loved because they felt so real. For example, [SPOILER] the way young William turns away when the men come to tell him his father and brother are dead [END SPOILER] and the way Murron’s (William’s wife’s) mother desperately sobs at her funeral both seemed so natural to me. I enjoyed those moments.
Love the soundtrack. I feel like I either owned it at one point or someone I know did because the music all sounded really familiar and I’ve only seen this movie once before.
Hey, everyone had appropriate accents (or at least tried to).
I’m very “meh” on this film. Despite having seen it before, and recalling that I liked it well enough, I had virtually no desire to watch it again (but needed to in order to comment on it). I don’t think it’s a bad film, although I have serious doubts as to its historical accuracy. It just doesn’t grab me. I don’t feel pulled in by it, or by its message. I feel like it’s a movie you watch for the gory fight scenes and that’s about it. When I think about Braveheart, I don’t think, “The acting and dialogue in that movie are fantastic!” (because they’re not). I think, “A guy gets stabbed in the face! People get their heads bashed in! The Scots moon the British on the battlefield!” I also think, “That’s before everyone knew how crazy Mel Gibson is!” I guess if that appeals to you, go ahead and see it.
I give the movie 3 stars.