Don't get me wrong; "The Last King of Scotland" really isn't a bad movie but it's just one that remains a bit too bland with its story and characters. The lack of depth is disappointing, though it obviously still remains a well done movie overall.

It's almost as if the film-makers were playing it safe. It's not really a shocking or disturbing movie or one that shows the madness and horror of Idi Amin and his regime. It instead is a movie that more so tells its own fictionalized story, which is of course its own good right.

Still it would had made the movie a far more powerful and effective one if it actually did showed some of the stuff that actually had happened during the Idi Amin regime. Now instead we only get a few lines of text at the end of the movie that tells some of the horrible stuff Idi Amin was responsible for. This was the same problem I had with "Blood Diamond". If you try to make a point or impact on the viewers you should do so in your movie and with your story and not with a couple of lines at the end of your movie.

But lets judge the movie for what it is. And it actually really is a well done film, that however could had used some more development and a better story in it. The story as well as its characters remain a bit bland throughout the entire movie, which causes the it to not really work out as effectively with any of its tension. The tension only suddenly starts to kick in by the end of the movie but at this point the movie also suddenly turns into a far too over-Hollywoodized one, which really isn't in tone with the rest of the movie.

You have to give the movie credit though for remaining a pleasant watch throughout, despite of its heavy and serious subject matter. I think it's only a good thing that the movie doesn't take itself so heavily, which actually only strengthens the movie its madness.

Fore there is also really no doubt about it that Idi Amin was one crazy person, which gets beautifully captured and portrayed by Forest Whitaker. It seemed like an odd choice at first for him to portray Idi Amin, since he doesn't look much like him and Forest Whitaker isn't exactly known for playing though and 'villainoush' characters. But he really made the role his own and he became Idi Amin. Yes, he truly deserved the Oscar for his role! But with all this talk about Forest Whitaker people are not giving enough credit to all of the other actors in this movie. James McAvoy and Kerry Washington are both also really great and it was the first time really that James McAvoy could show how capable he is of playing a leading role in a big movie. This performance was more or less his big breakthrough, which he also really deserved and earned for himself, with his performances over the years.

It's a good movie to watch, just don't expect it to make a big or lasting impact on you, or shock or emote you. It's good to watch but nothing more than that really. It will only leave you hungry and interesting in a true Ida Amin biopic or read- and find more out about him, since this movie isn't really giving you enough.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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