Last King of Scotland, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -4

Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson. Bio/drama. Written by Peter Morgan, Jeremy Brock. Directed by Kevin Macdonald.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A Scottish medical graduate (James McAvoy), rebellious of the concept of continuing a placid lifestyle like his father, decides to move to Uganda as a medical assistant at a mission, where fate has him becoming entangled with one of the worlds most barbaric figures: Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). Impressed by Dr. Garrigans brazen attitude in a moment of crisis, the newly self-appointed Ugandan President Amin hand picks him as his personal physician and closest confidante. Though Garrigan is at first flattered and fascinated by his new position, he soon awakens to Amins savagery - and his own complicity in it. Horror and betrayal ensue as Garrigan tries to right his wrongs and escape Uganda alive.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Gripping, powerful filmmaking, The Last King of Scotland examines how absolute power corrupts absolutely. Of course, this corrupted leader, Idi Amin, was truly a madman and a mass murderer. According to the films closing notes, Amins regime was responsible for the deaths of over 300,000 Ugandans.

Forest Whitaker triumphs in presenting the insane leader and will most likely be up for an Oscar. The films pacing is energized like a thriller, and the story insightful, if sometimes accusatory. But despite its Oscar-worthiness, be aware that the film presents its case against Amin by including graphic sexuality and violent imagery, along with some brutal language.

By now, most filmgoers are desensitized to the misuse of Gods name and hearing Christs name as a mere expletive. But here we hear the name Jesus Christ with the f-word as a middle name. Isnt that blasphemy? This offensive use of our Saviors name is used a couple of times by the Scottish doctor, a fictional character who was written as an amalgam of the worlds callow white people.

This same character has his own set of morals, which do not include a sanctity for marriage. He has sex with a complete stranger on one occasion, attempts to commit adultery with one woman and succeeds with another. Though he is taken in, his political naivet is slowly replaced by a dawning awareness of corruption. But he is never truly a moral light. And though he is a Scotsman in the story, his character is only a slightly veiled portrait of what the filmmaker believes to be an indifferent white America. So even though its a black African who commits atrocities, the filmmaker believes his position is the fault of apathetic whites.

I left depressed, both by the evil of a people who could torture and murder countless people (remember, it wasnt just Amin he had an army of willing crusaders) and by the films overly abusive content.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: 14 f-words, 4 s-words and several minor expletives

Profanity: Twice a misuse of Christs name is heard, attached to the f-word. The expression is blasphemous.

Violence: Graphic violence is a part of the insane dictators story, therefore we see examples of his brutality spread throughout the film. These include execution style shootings, the remains of many dead bodies, torture and most sickening of all, the remains of a female body, mutilated. Found guilty of adultery, Amins wife is murdered, her body is seen, the arms and legs severed from the torso. Blood: Some blood is seen along with the brutal deaths.

Sex: Three graphic sex scenes, each outside marriage.

Nudity: Graphic male and female nudity featured in several scenes.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: There are a couple of conversations referring to sex acts.

Drugs: Drinking and smoking throughout.

Other: While the sexuality and brutal violence has been incorporated to express the main characters corruption, be warned that it becomes quite graphic the violent imagery nauseating.

Running Time: 123 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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