The Last King of Scotland

The Last King of Scotland

On DVD: 
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Running Time: 
123 Minutes

In an incredible twist of fate, a Scottish doctor (James McAvoy) on a Ugandan medical mission becomes irreversibly entangled with one of the world's most barbaric figures: Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker).  Impressed by Dr. Garrigan's 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 Amin's savagery - and his own complicity in it. Horror and betrayal ensue as Garrigan tries to right his wrongs and escape Uganda alive.

This film impressed me to a certain degree with the initial exposure but round didn’t fare as well. I’ll still contend that it’s a decent work overall with some good performances. My continuing problem is that the focus of the story is a fictitious doctor when Idi Amin should have been the lead all along. Why tell the story of a very real, very psychotic leader of a nation on the side? I know it’s based on a positively welcomed novel, so my argument is more directed toward that source.

For special features you get the following: two featurettes with behind-the-scenes footage and background information on Idi Amin, a short collection of interviews, director commentary, deleted scenes, and a theatrical trailer. The featurettes and interviews are interesting and worthy of their collective 40+ minute run time. The rest is standard fare and not exceptionally involving.

This is a decent film that is worth at least a rental. I would advise against a purchase until you’ve seen it at least once.

Review by Baron Aloha