3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Whitaker 5*s. Film 3*s.,
This review is from: The Last King of Scotland [DVD]  (DVD)
Forest Whitaker is outstanding, totally convincing and deserving of all the honours that came his way. Quite superb! I could give the film 5*s based on his performance. However....
James Mcavoy struggled hard with a weak character. It was hard to believe that someone so naive could have risen so far in such a government. His motivation seemed to be little more than sex, adventure and fun. There were odd nods to an idealism in trying to build a new nation but, as Amin later says, "Did you really think you could come here and play the white man?" (or words to that effect). At that point I had more sympathy with the Ugandans than I did with Dr Garrigan (McAvoy's character). That is not to knock McAvoy at all but what he had to work with was weak.
I too felt, as some others have suggested, that more cut-aways of what really was happening elsewhere in Uganda would have given the story more substance. Perhaps it relied too heavily upon either our knowledge of the Amin/Uganda story or our preconceptions about African dictators. None of the other characters, including Gillian Anderson and Kerry Washington, were at all rounded. They were merely extras to the main characters of Amin & Garrigan. The ridiculous device of including the Entebbe rescue in the plot was at best unbelievable - at worst insulting. A weak but nevertheless dramatic & compelling story if you suspend disbelief.
But what a towering performance from Forest Whitaker!