Braveheart (1995)

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7.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10

Some great battle scenes and memorable moments

So historically inaccurate, Mel Gibson seems miscast

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Braveheart

Studio:  Icon Productions

Genre(s):  Drama/Romance/War

Release Date(s):  May 24, 1995

MPAA Rating:  R

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Go Scotland!!! WOOOHHH!!!!

William Wallace (Mel Gibson) returns to his home in Scotland after education abroad and finds himself at odds with the English nobles.  When Wallace’s wife is killed for refusing to sleep the lord, Wallace sets out to avenge her and liberate his people.  Joining Robert the Bruce (Angus Macfadyen), William Wallace finds himself in battle with the armies of King Edward (Patrick McGoohan).  When Princess Isabella of France (Sophie Marceau) is sent to try to broker peace between the groups, they find themselves falling in love…but the war must come first.

Directed by Mel Gibson, Braveheart adapts poem The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace by Blind Harry from around 1488.  The film was released to acclaim but criticisms due to its historical inaccuracies.  The movie won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Best Sound Editing with nominations for Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Dramatic Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing, and Best Costume Design.

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This is kind of creepy since historically you are only about 9 or 10…

When Braveheart was released it was a bit of a change.  The epic war films had virtually disappeared and movies like Lawrence of Arabia and Bridge on the River Kwai were things of the past.  Braveheart (along with movies like the earlier Dances with Wolves) helped bring the idea of an epic war battle…unfortunately, Braveheart marred itself by presenting a story that some have called the most historically inaccurate, and it is schmaltzy.

Don’t get me wrong, Braveheart does have its moments.  The movie swells and has some great war and battle scenes…they just happen to not be the real story.  There is a problem with a film called Braveheart about William Wallace when Brave Heart referred to Robert the Bruce…you automatically have issues.  It is argued that the movie isn’t meant to be historical, but it is presented as a historical piece…people who saw it would probably argue that it was Wallace’s child born to Isabella despite the fact that Edward III was born ten years after Wallace’s death.  It skews history but presents it as reality.  Even things like the face paint by Wallace and his men isn’t right; woad, as it was called, stopped being used 800 years before the battles depicted in the film.

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Calgon…Take me away!!!

The only reason that Braveheart was made is that Mel Gibson agreed to star in it.  While Gibson does give a memorable performance as William Wallace, it almost feels like he fell off the cover a romance novel in appearance.  I think if the movie had hired a harder edged Wallace that the movie would have had more bite.  Patrick McGoohan does play a good villain in King Edward and Sophie Marceau is charming as the princess wooed by the angry Scotsman.

Visually, the movie does do a good job and that is what sticks the most from the film.  Be it the boisterous speeches or the incredibly violent battle, the movie makes great use of Scottish land.  The movie is credited for boosting tourism and patriotism for the Scotland, and you can see why when you see some of the sweeping land.

Braveheart is a rather disappointment.  It is an average film that looks good and does have some nice moments.  It is too long, and the glaring inaccuracy of the film cannot be ignored.  It is one of the weaker “Best Picture” entries, but it is also one of the more popular in a decade full of highs (Schindler’s List, Silence of the Lambs, Unforgiven) and lows (Titanic, Forrest Gump).

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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