Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Rob Roy


There ain’t no justice. Not only was Braveheart not the Best Picture of 1995 (it was a weak year, but Apollo 13, Babe, and Il Postino: The Postman were all better than that overblown Mel Gibson farrago), it wasn’t even the Best Picture About a Scottish Hero of 1995. This movie was, in fact, better than those other three as well, but it wasn’t even nominated. Liam Neeson as Robert Roy MacGregor is so much better than Gibson as William Wallace it hardly bears comparison. Gibson was over the top in almost every scene. The one I remember best was him riding all alone into the enemy’s stronghold, suddenly pulling a sword from between his shoulder blades, and laying waste to everyone around him. Right. Bullshit. Tripe. Neeson is, by contrast, self-contained, calm, wise, and thus much more powerful and convincing. Watch him face off a group of bandits in the opening scene. It’s all over in seconds, and a man lies dead. This is a movie about real people, not overblown and phony supermen. The supporting cast is excellent, John Hurt and Brian Cox and an incredible performance by Jessica Lange. But the one who steals the show is Tim Roth, as a dandy from London who looks like you could knock him over with one of his lace handkerchiefs, a strutting, prancing nancy boy, who quickly shows he is absolutely lethal with a blade, and quite capable in the bedroom, too. He is one of the most loathsome characters I’ve ever seen in a movie. Naturally, he comes face to face with Rob in the end, in one of the best duels I’ve ever seen. Roth is cutting Rob up, piece by piece. It’s clear he is the better swordsman … but clanking steel is not all a sword fight’s about. In the end, the one who has the balls to take it to the wall, no matter what the cost, is the one who will win. If you haven’t seen this one, please take a look. One of my all-time favorite movies.