The Last King of Scotland

Rated 3.0

The main reason to see this film about the rise to power of Idi Amin is the performance by Forest Whitaker, and, being that all sorts of awards are being thrown at him, that’s not all that surprising. What might catch you off guard is that the movie surrounding the Whitaker performance is just average at best. The story is told mainly from the vantage point of fictional character Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), who runs away from his daddy and winds up in Uganda playing doctor for Amin. After a little while, wouldn’t you know it, he finds out that Amin is a madman, and this particular move might’ve been a poor career choice. The movie has strong moments, but it also has ridiculous moments, such as McAvoy’s character surviving a rather gory hook-hanging a la The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Whitaker is terrific, and I’m giving it a mild recommendation for that. If he weren’t in it, this one would be rather unimportant.