Movie ReviewsMovie Review – Edge of the World

IMDb summary: The adventures of Sir James Brooke, who defied the British Empire to rule a jungle kingdom in 1840s Borneo, embarked on a lifelong crusade to end piracy, slavery and head-hunting, and inspired LORD JIM and THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING.
JulieGJune 4, 202165/1006 min
Year of Release
Samuel Goldwyn Films
Adventure, Drama
1 hr 44 min
Overall Score
Rating Summary
Edge of the World Review

It has been a long time since I’ve seen either Jonathan Rhys Meyers or Dominic Monaghan in a feature film, let alone a good one. But Edge of the World is an eye-opener for sure, particularly Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ portrayal of the famous explorer Sir James Brooke. Like many who will see this film, I had no idea who James Brooke was. I had to educate myself on this man and his exploits. And as with any film that depicts a “true story”, it’s better to take it with a pinch of salt as there is no way for us to know exactly what happened to this man and his men in Brunei.

James Brooke set sail with his crew to escape his life in England and found paradise when they landed in Brunei. He is depicted as a very kind man and open towards the native people of the Island. He was popular with the men in charge. That was until he was named “Rajah”, a kind of leader amongst the native people. This did not sit well with one of the other leaders – the blood-thirsty Mahkota. As a result, horrible events unfolded, which forced Brooke to do the one thing he didn’t want to do – fight.

To put things into context, the way of life in Brunei is much harsher than in the western world. James and his men were required to adopt local customs and abide by local laws. In Brunei, it is not unheard of for a man to behead another man if he feels slighted. As hostile and primitive as this may seem to westerners, In 18th century Brunei, this was the way of life.

Edge of the World Screenshot

The performance of Jonathan Rhys Meyers as James Brooke is commendable. For an adventurer, Meyer’s portrays him as a man who has seen the horror of war and never wants to revisit it. Dominic Monaghan is also worth mentioning as the loyal yet independent Crookshank. But one of the best performances is by the actors and actresses that portray the native people of Sarawak.

The lush background of the Malaysian rainforest serves as the area where Brooke and his men finally settled. This brings a certain authenticity to the film as the actual location where James Brooke lived isn’t too far away from where this movie was filmed.

For a western man to become “King’ of an Island nation thousands of miles away from his homeland without shedding a single drop of blood to do it is worthy of a feature film. It’s almost contrary to what the English were known for. In that sense, Edge of the World is one of the better stories to be told cinematically.

Reviewed for Keithlovesmovies by Julie


Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on

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