The Last King of Scotland – Review

Remember the story of Joseph and Pharaoh in Genesis? No? Well, it’s about this guy (Joseph) who becomes Pharaoh’s right hand man after some extraordinary circumstances. The Last King of Scotland is very similar, but instead of Egypt, it’s in Uganda. Instead of 2000BC, it’s in the 1970s. And instead of Joseph and Pharaoh, we get James McAvoy and Forest Whitaker.

Forest won an Oscar last year for his performance as the Ugandan President. Man, did he deserve it. The movie itself is great, but it’s worth watching just for him. He is such a recognizable guy, yet I completely forgot everything else he’d been in as I watched. I can’t say enough good things about how great he is.

Now McAvoy is becoming one of those actors that seems to be in everything. Sort of like Shia LaBeouf. The difference being that McAvoy isn’t freaking annoying (yet). Shia is becoming like Candyman to me. I’m afraid if I say his name too many times, he’ll appear behind me and annoy me to death (“No-no. N-n-n-o”). Not so with James, so let’s stick with him.

It’s a good thing McAvoy is tolerable because the story focuses around his character. He plays a Scottish doctor who heads to Uganda to “do some good.” Things happen and he soon finds himself as the President’s chief advisor. More things happen and the movie ends, leaving you trying to remember the last time you saw a movie so great.

The story is “loosely” based on historical events. I’d tell you what those are, but you’ll just go look ’em up in Wikipedia and completely ruin everything. So I won’t. If you don’t know what the movie is about, keep it that way until you watch it. Trust me on this.

Gillian Anderson also makes an appearance. Remember her from the X-Files? She has a really small (and almost meaningless) part, but her character helps fill in some personality traits of McAvoy’s character. It seemed like they may have had a larger role for her, but it may have got cut due to interfering with the main storyline. Who knows.

Anyway, great movies like this should not be missed. If you missed it, be sure to rent it.

Grade: A+

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