Mel Gibson must have been paying attention all these years because the work he's turned in as director on this feature is quite an eye-opener for a debut. Why beat around the bush? Yes, it's a love story. Yes, it's a story of man's valour, courage, and hope. Most of all, and most obviously, it is a film about man's need for and right to freedom.

It's very earthy and it's very bawdy and it's awfully male, but it's touching and sensitive and engrossing. Based upon the story of William Wallace, a legendary figure from Scottish history, the script is beautifully crafted to induce an endless number of fine performances under the majestically capable hand of Gibson.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett