The movie Robert the Bruce premiered on the Crackle streaming service on 01 October. I sat down over the weekend and gave it a watch. It’s not a direct sequel to Braveheart, more of a continuation of the timeline. Not to long ago Netflix released Outlaw King, which also told the story of Robert the Bruce. Outlaw King was a decent movie. Does Robert the Bruce compare? Is it worth your time? Let’s find out.
First let’s talk about the delivery method, Crackle. Founded in 2007, Crackle is a free service streaming movies and TV shows. The way to offer all the free content is with ads. While not horrible, it can certainly interrupt the flow of a movie, which was the case with Robert the Bruce. During the 2 hour movie there were 10, yes 10 commercial breaks! The average break was 2 minutes 30 seconds, with some being only 2 minutes long. With 10 breaks in a 120 minute movie, there was a commercial interruption roughly every 12 minutes.
It’s hard to get into a movie with so many interruptions. The AI isn’t smart enough yet to know when to place a commercial. Some of them come in the middle of a fight or intense scene. With the annoyance of the ads aside, I’m glad the movie was picked up by someone so we can watch the movie.
While the delivery system wasn’t ideal, I’m not reviewing Crackle, I’m reviewing the movie Robert the Bruce.
Robert the Bruce is co-produced, co-written and stars Angus Macfayden, reprising his role from the movie Braveheart. The movie focuses on a small period of time in the life of Robert the Bruce. Taking place after the death of John Comyn but before the Battle of Bannockburn.
The movie starts with the meeting of Robert the Bruce and John ‘the Red’ Comyn at the Greyfriars Church. During the meeting the Bruce remains silent, while Comyn, an English sympathizer, talks and plots to kill the Bruce. A fight ensues and Robert the Bruce kills Comyn.
We next see Robert and his men, camped out in the woods, tired from battle. An exhausted Robert tells his men to leave him, return home and tell anyone they meet they fought for the English, not the Bruce. His men are reluctant, especially his main supporter James Douglas. But they all heed his word and disperse.
All except for three men. They follow Robert the Bruce with a plan to kill him and collect the reward money from the English. As they catch up to him the Bruce fights them off but is wounded during the skirmish. He escapes and hides in a cave, beaten and wounded.
It’s while in the cave the movie calls upon the legend of the spider. As the legend goes, the Bruce watched a spider spin its web across a rocky opening in the cave with no success. The spider persevered and continued to fail, until after several attempts it successfully spun its web across the rocky span.
The Bruce took this as an omen, that his fight against the English was worthy of the hardship and if the spider could stay focused and vigilant in its task, so could he. In the movie the Bruce resolves to continue his fight and leaves the cave.
He stumbles through the snow, still wounded and weak, until he passes out and is discovered by a boy and his siblings. They bring the Bruce to their house and their mother nurses him back to health. This is where the heart of the movie takes place.
Robert the Bruce connects with the family and sees how they have suffered during the war. The women, Morag is a widow and two of the three children are her niece and nephew, both fathers killed in the war. Despite their loss the family fully supports Scotland, Robert the Bruce and his war for freedom.
Robert the Bruce must fight off the evil sheriff who is also looking capture or kill him and collect the reward money. The Sheriff happens to be Morag’s brother in law and checks in on the family.
In the end the Bruce returns to his countrymen, gathers an army and fights the English at the Battle of Bannockburn. However, the movie doesn’t show the battle. Its a movie about the Bruce coming to terms with his struggle and the struggle of Scotland.
Robert the Bruce offers beautiful cinematography and an engrossing soundtrack. Unfortunately for the filmmakers, due to the COIVD-19 pandemic it won’t be released theatrically in the United States and won’t be eligible for an Academy Award. I could see it nominated for Best Cinematography or Best Score.
Robert the Bruce is a fantastic movie and a good continuation to the Braveheart story line. There’s really no excuse not to watch it, its currently being offered for free on Crackle. While the commercials are a bit excessive, its worth sitting through them to watch the movie.
Medieval Archives gives Robert the Bruce 3.5 out of 5 stars
Have you seen Robert the Bruce? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.