In August, Netflix unveiled the first trailer for David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King prior to the film’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and now in the second trailer, Chris Pine’s rebel character rallies the troops and anticipates death.
Based on the “untold story” of Robert the Bruce, a warrior who became the King of Scotland, Outlaw King is the latest theatrical collaboration between Mackenzie and Pine. In 2016, the Scottish director enlisted the American actor for Hell or High Water, a neo-Western crime thriller in which two brothers seek revenge in Texas. Based on a script by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Wind River, Sicario: Day of the Soldado), Hell or High Water ultimately earned four Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture, thus creating buzz for another Mackenzie-Pine production. In August 2017, the combo began shooting Outlaw King in Scotland, with Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) in supporting roles.
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Today, Netflix released Outlaw King’s second trailer, building upon the mythology established in the original clip. From the start, Pine’s dialogue sets the tone, as Robert the Bruce notes that “the survival of the Scottish is at stake.”
Compared to the sweeping cinematography highlighted in trailer #1, the new trailer mostly emphasizes war and impending death, complemented by hard-hitting sound editing. Many of the same shots are used, however trailer #2 establishes a more epic feel, heavily contrasting Robert the Bruce's peaceful commitment to the people with his eagerness to fight the enemy - in this case, English soldiers. During the final 10 seconds, the heightened music and dramatic dialogue creates a chilling atmosphere for what seems to be a heavy-duty war film.
With that said, Screen Rant’s official Outlaw King review suggests that Mackenzie’s script has noticeable weak spots, perhaps because several different writers collaborated on the project. In 2013, the director released the critically acclaimed Starred Up, a jail drama starring Jack O’Connell (Unbroken), a film that was written solely by Jonathan Asser. For Hell or High Water, Sheridan earned an Oscar nomination for his screenplay, written by only himself. For Outlaw King, Mackenzie co-wrote the script with four others, including Mark Bomback (The Divergent Series: Insurgent). Mackenzie also cut 20 minutes of the narrative after the September TIFF premiere. While the film looks the part - full of bold battle cries, vast landscapes, and hero shots - critic reviews seem to imply that Outlaw King needs more structure.
Though Outlaw King has received lukewarm reactions thus far, Netflix subscribers may have a different experience, with Pine leading the action when Outlaw King premieres November 9 on Netflix and in select theaters.
- Outlaw King (2018) release date: Nov 09, 2018