Directed by Mel Gibson
I don't find this film quite as obnoxious as other people do. As I never expect anything resembling facts to come from Mel Gibson, the historical inaccuracies didn't both me. Maybe they would have annoyed me if I were English. I apologize to my English readers, but you guys truly make the best villains. Jeremy Irons taught us that.
In 1280, King Edward conquers Scotland and allows his lords certain privileges, including prima nocte (the right of a lord to rape new brides on their wedding nights). William Wallace marries his childhood sweetheart secretly to avoid the local lord's disgusting penis. Wallace is ultimately unable to protect his wife from the brutish English soldiers. Wallace is motivated to lead a revolt against the King of England.
There are several elements working against this film. We have Mel Gibson, who has never exactly impressed me with his range. He is sort of a blank slate; thankfully the story and cinematography distract us from examining his character too closely. At the very least, he has some great lines.
As a piece of mindless entertainment, it was quite enjoyable. The battle scenes were spectacular and the story is inspiring, if you don't put too much thought into it. It is a bit too long, but still fun.
Mel Gibson felt he was too old for the role of William Wallace, but the studio would only finance the film if he was the star.
The line "Every man dies-not every man really lives" was written by an American poet named William Ross Wallace.