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Title: Braveheart
Directed by:
Mel Gibson
Written by:
Randall Wallace
Year: 1995

This film is too long! Sorry, but it had to be said, because that was the thought running through my mind again and again. 175 minutes. More than three hours. And no, this is not a film to which all these minutes were essential. The story of the Scottish rebellion led by William Wallace in the 13th century could have been about the same, but at least an hour shorter with some careful editing. Who knows, such an editing would perhaps have made the film worthwhile.

The beginning is horrible. It takes an hour to say “William Wallace had a tragic background and loved a girl named Murron”. The worst part is that it is almost insultingly obvious that this is just an attempt to kindle empathy for the main character when Murron is killed and Wallace launches his rebellion against the English. Knowing a bit about the film (which is very hard to escape), it becomes even more pointless. I can go on like this for an hour or so, but I will only take one more example. This is a study of short scenes of how to kill Englishmen. I mean, seriously, these are among the lousiest scenes of battle I have ever seen. I get absolutely nothing from watching a hundred soldiers being killed in one second cuts without context. Especially not when it happens in every singe battle (and there are some of those, too).

Let me focus for a second on aspects of the film I do not dislike. It seems to wildly anachronistic and has made enormous sacrifices on this area to benefit the epic adventure. This is fine with me, go Mel Gibson! Furthermore, there is actually one thing about Braveheart I truly adore and that is the portrayal of the antagonist King Edward 1 of England. Patrick McGoohan is excellent in this role and really manages to highlight the extravagantly tyrannical King’s characteristics.

Conclusively, Braveheart is a huge disappointment. It fails in almost every regard and offers only minor glimpses of quality and all of those have been presented much better in other films. Because I seldom watch films this bad, I have difficulties pinpointing exactly where on the scale Braveheart belongs, but after reviewing my definitions of the various grades, I have decided to give it one snail.

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  1. Martin’s avatar

    Vad underbart! Jag tycker nämligen också Braveheart är en skitfilm, men fram till nu trodde jag att jag var ensam om det. :)