For the Bruce Fans

Michael Van Wijk in The Bruce (1996)

With a deep rooted hatred of the English and especially of Edward I (Brian Blessed), Robert the Bruce (Sandy Welch) leads up a rebellion to reclaim Scotland and have his claim as the King of the Scots officially recognized.

How well do you know your Scottish history? If your knowledge is on the slim side then "The Bruce" is going to be an incredibly hard slog of a movie as it is simply made for an audience who already know the ins and outs of the story of Robert the Bruce. As admittedly my historical knowledge is distinctly lacking in many areas "The Bruce" didn't work for me although I do wonder how accurate it is for those who have studied the life of Robert the Bruce.

Now as I said "The Bruce" is made for those who already know the story of Robert the Bruce and this is made apparent right from the word go as we are tossed in at the deepend with no explaining of who the characters were or what was going on. If this doesn't lose you then the way the story jumps around will as unless you know the timeline of events you will be scratching your head as to what is going on other than the simple case of Robert the Bruce leading the Scots in trying to reclaim Scotland.

Unfortunately it gets no better as the action scenes are ropey with weapons which are clearly rubber and no real distinction between sides as well as those killed miraculously getting up. And then there is the acting which again leaves a lot to be desired with Brian Blessed being the only one to come out of this with his credentials intact. Although for those who grew up watching the TV show Gladiators there is the face of Michael Van Wijk who is better known to many as Wolf.

What this all boils down to is that "The Bruce" really didn't work for me and whilst those with a better grasp of Scottish history might get more from it those who don't have the knowledge will be left struggling.

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