A too-often overlooked gem of the 1990s, Rob Roy
got swallowed up a little in the hype surrounding Braveheart
, which arrived around the same time. Yet there’s a compelling argument that it’s more than up to the standard of Mel Gibson’s Oscar winner. Some might even suggest it’s the better movie.
Liam Neeson takes the title role, in a film that’s a historical drama at heart, albeit one punctuated with some quite excellent action work. There’s an epic sense to it, and the added bonus of Tim Roth stealing every scene he’s allowed near as the evil henchman of the Marquis Of Montrose. Unsurprisingly, he was Oscar-nominated for his role, although the likes of Neeson, John Hurt and Jessica Lange also turn in fine work.
It’s a film ripe for a Blu-ray upgrade, though, and the presentation of Rob Roy is excellent. It helps bring through the evocative period detail, while handling the action superbly well. In the case of the latter in particular, so does the sound mix. It’s just a shame that there’s no supplementary material included to dig into what must have been an interesting production, especially given the historical roots of the story. Nonetheless, this is sweeping cinema, presented with care and quality on a worthwhile disc. --Jon Foster
Academy Award® nominee Liam Neeson and Oscar® winner Jessica Lange give extraordinary performances as the legendary hero who refused to let his enemies destroy his honour and the loyal woman who gave him the courage to fight. Boasting "one of the great action sequences in movie history" (Roger Ebert), Rob Roy is a breathtaking, epic adventure and "one of the best films of the year" (Gene Siskel). When a harsh winter threatens the majestic Scottish Highlands, Rob Roy Macgregor (Neeson) is forced to borrow money from the less-than-noble Marquis of Montrose (John Hurt) to provide for his clan. But when Montrose’s henchman (Tim Roth in an Oscar-nominated performance) conspires to take the wealth for himself, Roy is thrust into the most challenging battle of his life.