Film Review: Stone of Destiny

8 Dec

Similar to a previous post, this review was originally published by the Edinburgh Evening News as part of their 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival coverage. As it’s not on their site I thought I’d publish it here:

Stone of Destiny

The Edinburgh Film Festival has a tradition for championing local talent. While 2007 saw Hallam Foe open proceedings to generally positive reviews, this year’s Stone of Destiny tells of a plan hatched to reclaim the titular relic for a Scotland that has seemingly lost its way.

Based on a true story, the film tells of a group of students in 1950 Glasgow who, led by Ian Hamilton (Charlie Cox), head to London to steal the Stone of Destiny. Their aim is to return this symbol of Scottish pride to a nation that once more needs to believe in itself.

The caper movie, exemplified the recent Ocean’s movies, is a genre that still has the ability to entertain. Sadly it can go awry, such as The Italian Job remake, and it’s to the latter category Stone falls into, the script lacking flair or a real sense of excitement.

Thankfully the young cast interact well – an appearance by Robert Carlyle bringing some class to proceedings – while the film looks great, its evocation of 1950s Scotland enhanced by impressive period detail.

Somewhat ironically, while the movie may accurately reflect real events, it doesn’t inspire the national pride so desired by the films protagonists.

Review by Jonathan Melville

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