An Irish Scottish Legend
As leader of his small community, Rob Roy (Liam Neeson) looks to better their future by borrowing money from Montrose (John Hurt), a local nobleman, in order to but cattle to sell at market in another town across country. Unfortunately Montrose's assistant Killearn (Brian Cox) has the loathsome Cunningham (Tim Roth) rob and murder McDonald (Eric Stoltz), who Rob Roy had sent to pick up the money from town. Despite pleading his innocence Rob is forced to run to the hills when Cunningham, leading a small army of red jackets, hunt him down, raping his wife Mary (Jessica Lange) in the process.
Have you heard the one about the Irishman, the American and the Englishman all of whom starred in a movie about a Scottish hero? Yes I am on about the entertaining "Rob Roy" which saw both Eric Stoltz and Jason Flemyng starring alongside Liam Neeson all playing Scottish characters and of course there is also Jessica Lange playing a Scottish wife. Of course there is nothing wrong with that as they are only actors playing parts but it certainly sounds like the start of some sort of bad joke.
Anyway as to "Rob Roy", well it is a solid story of a hard working Scottish nice guy ending up having to fight for his and his families honour because a couple of noblemen try to shaft him, whilst one of them did that to his wife. Yes that is very simplified but what it means is that at 2 hours and 19 minutes "Rob Roy" features many a scene which is aimed at crafting characters be it showing Rob Roy as the nice guy who whilst will kill will only do so with reason whilst also showing that Cunningham is utterly despicable whilst also a skilled swordsman. In truth it does go over the top in trying to establish character and it means that it feels like an age before we actually get to the main storyline.
Still there is no denying that both Liam Neeson and Tim Roth certainly deliver memorable performances as well as a memorable sword fight come the movie's climax. And director Michael Caton-Jones certainly does a nice job of capturing the raw beauty of the remote Scottish locations where he shot much of "Rob Roy". But for me this never quite reaches the scale of being an epic movie even though it is clearly trying to be. And that is its problem as the amount of storyline does not warrant going beyond 2 hours let alone heading towards the two and a half hour mark.
What this all boils down to is that "Rob Roy" is certainly an entertaining movie with a nice look, good action and decent performances. But for me the length is too much for the story and there are times where it just drags with maybe director Michael Caton-Jones finding himself a little mesmerised by his surroundings.