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“Last Knights” is so thoroughly mediocre, so dully empty, that it’s difficult to summon the enthusiasm to trash it. And yet, duty calls.

Duty—and honor, and loyalty—are the themes of this thoroughly forgettable, vaguely medieval action epic, and the subjects of lengthy and generic monologues. But when the characters are drawn in such flimsy fashion, and their adventures are depicted so blandly, it’s impossible to care about whether they fulfill the grand mission which is their solemn destiny.

Japanese director Kazuaki Kiriya ’s film might feature some handsome staging and solid production values, but it’s hard to tell. His film is relentlessly dreary and bleak, smothered in a gray sameness and often obscured by pseudo-artful, slow-motion raindrops or snowfall. This is a VERY serious film, in case you couldn’t tell.

There is an effortless multiculturalism to the cast, though, which is appealing, and it gives the film a timelessness despite its centuries-old setting. White, black, Iranian, Israeli, British, Norwegian, Korean and Japanese actors share the screen with ease, and it just sort of makes sense. But then it’s frustrating to watch these talented actors stuck in one-note roles with wooden dialogue, which they invariably are.

Morgan Freeman stars as a respected nobleman named Bartok who refuses to give in to the emperor’s demands to place crippling taxes on his people. (Yes, like “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” “Last Knights” is about the inherently cinematic topic of taxation.) Bartok’s right-hand man and heir apparent is Raiden ( Clive Owen ), a revered and world-weary warrior. Early on, when Bartok delivers a dignified speech about his plans to hand over the keys to the kingdom (as well as his legendary sword) upon his passing, you know he’ll be a goner soon.

But Freeman’s departure happens all-too soon. It retrospect, it turns out his was the only engaging character in this entire overlong slog, and the only one given any traces of a personality. Owen is forced to play it straightly stoic—except for the brief period when Raiden resumes his drinking and womanizing to numb the pain of the horrific circumstances surrounding Bartok’s death. Nonetheless, we know he will get his act together, rise up and return to lead his Seventh Rank in vengeance for his master’s death.

Their primary target is Gezza Mott ( Aksel Hennie ), the arrogant and effeminate adviser to the emperor who has struck fear throughout the land with his demands for bribes to fund his escalating empire. (Just to give you an idea of the kind of character we’re dealing with, we see his smushy-faced Japanese lap dog before we see him.) He’s the real power broker here, it seems; the emperor himself ( Peyman Moaadi , who was so convincing in “ A Separation ”), does little more than quietly sulk.

Among the other international actors who go to waste here: Ayelet Zurer as Raiden’s loyal, long-suffering wife and Shohreh Aghdashloo as Bartok’s loyal, long-suffering wife. There is a theme here, as you see; the other role available to women in “Last Knights” is that of prostitute. Cliff Curtis gets little to do but grunt in manly fashion as Raiden’s main enforcer. But Korean veteran Ahn Sung-kee manages some slivers of dignity as a fellow nobleman who comes to Raiden’s aide.

The massive attack Raiden and his men stage on Gezza Mott’s fortress, which comprises the film’s final third, takes place in the dead of night with soldiers who are essentially interchangeable, so it’s often difficult to tell who is doing what to whom. This much is clear, though: There’s a lot of that metallic, sword-unsheathing sound, followed by a series of decapitations. And even those are no fun.

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire is a longtime film critic who has written for RogerEbert.com since 2013. Before that, she was the film critic for The Associated Press for nearly 15 years and co-hosted the public television series "Ebert Presents At the Movies" opposite Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, with Roger Ebert serving as managing editor. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here .

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Last Knights movie poster

Last Knights (2015)

Rated R for some violence

115 minutes

Clive Owen as Raiden

Morgan Freeman as Bartok

Aksel Hennie as Gezza Mott

  • Kazuaki Kiriya
  • Michael Konyves
  • Dove Sussman

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Last Knights Review

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It's not surprising that Last Knights is subpar -- the film was shot several years ago and is only now getting a limited release in theaters and on VOD -- but it's still disappointing. Stars Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman turn in solid performances for this, and the movie's handful of action scenes are decent, but it's so overstuffed with exposition and dull plot points that it's hard to really care about the story or characters. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Max Nicholson is a writer for IGN, and he desperately seeks your approval. Show him some love by following @Max_Nicholson on Twitter or MaxNicholson on IGN.

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Last Knights Reviews

movie review last knights

Kiriya's film moves through well-known paths, creating a nice movie that doesn't exaggerate in its digital effects nor treats the viewer like a fool. [Full Review in Spanish]

Full Review | Apr 29, 2020

movie review last knights

The only thing that might have saved this film from being a complete snooze-fest would have been some unintentional humour, but Last Knights doesn't even have the decency to be camp.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5 | Dec 10, 2018

movie review last knights

Last Knights is both better and worse than Outcast, aka That One With Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen and Truly Awful Haircuts.

Full Review | Sep 21, 2016

movie review last knights

There's a distinct lack of excitement and sense of adventure that underlines Japanese director Kazuaki Kiriya's medieval-fantasy, Last Knights; a slow, puzzling and dreary sword-and-sandals action that is devoid of any energy.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5 | Jun 2, 2016

[It] most specifically reminds one of those bland, abandoned fantasy films that seemed to just materialize from nowhere on video-store shelves in the late 90's.

Full Review | Original Score: D+ | Feb 23, 2016

It's crushingly dull and an utter waste of talent.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5 | Dec 18, 2015

Serious to a fault, Last Knights is a two hour drama that hides a leaner, meaner 90 minute war machine.

Full Review | May 27, 2015

Combines elements of both the typical revenge plot thriller, and then the Game of Thrones inspired castles and brothels environment - offering absolutely nothing that we haven't seen before.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5 | Apr 15, 2015

movie review last knights

This is an unrelentingly dour take on the fantasy genre, ditching the wizards, dragons and rampant nudity - aka, the fun stuff.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Apr 13, 2015

movie review last knights

A dreadfully boring slog that takes itself far too seriously.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Apr 10, 2015

movie review last knights

It's a drag, clichd and tedious, but hey, at least Owen and Freeman can make their rent this month.

Full Review | Original Score: D | Apr 3, 2015

movie review last knights

This thing is so garbled and goofy it plays like a parody. Except it's not.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/5 | Apr 3, 2015

movie review last knights

"Last Knights" is so thoroughly mediocre, so dully empty, that it's difficult to summon the enthusiasm to trash it. And yet, duty calls.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4 | Apr 3, 2015

Once upon a time, filmmakers had the luxury of giving their genre movies time to breathe; you don't see much of that on a big scale any more. I loved this movie, warts and all.

Full Review | Apr 3, 2015

movie review last knights

A movie this silly should be prefaced with an apology: "Um, about Last Knights ... "

Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4 | Apr 3, 2015

movie review last knights

Its cast aside, "Last Knights" proves as square and blandly manly as an old "Prince Valiant" comic strip.

Full Review | Apr 2, 2015

movie review last knights

As predictable as the wrap-up of one of D.W. Griffith's moralistic epics. What's surprising is how much Last Knights feels as if Griffith's ghost could have directed it.

Full Review | Original Score: C | Apr 2, 2015

The movie's handful of action scenes are decent, but it's so overstuffed with exposition and dull plot points that it's hard to really care about the story or characters.

Full Review | Original Score: 5.8/10 | Apr 2, 2015

There isn't much in the movie that you can't see on cable TV, where the action is bloodier and more energetic, but there's something old-fashioned about Last Knights that's appealing.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5 | Apr 2, 2015

Cobbled together from memories of better movies, Last Knights makes a hash of sword-and-sandal clichés.

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Last Knights

Common sense media reviewers.

movie review last knights

Great cast is wasted in violent but dull revenge story.

Last Knights Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

The movie is mostly about revenge and deception.

The characters are sullen and violent and indulge

Heavy fantasy-style violence. Swords; bows and arr

A husband and wife kiss. A woman in a tavern is of

The main character is said to have overcome a drin

Parents need to know that Last Knights is a medieval action movie centered on revenge. There's lots of fighting with swords and bows and arrows, as well as bloody wounds, neck slicing, beheading, and some violence toward women. Some kissing is shown (the main character kisses a woman who isn't his wife), and…

Positive Messages

Positive role models.

The characters are sullen and violent and indulge in vices like drinking and casual sex. On the plus side, at least they're a diverse bunch.

Violence & Scariness

Heavy fantasy-style violence. Swords; bows and arrows. A woman has bruises on her face (presumably from her evil husband). A woman is violently slapped. Characters are beaten. Neck-slicing. Beheading. Bloody wounds.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.

Sex, Romance & Nudity

A husband and wife kiss. A woman in a tavern is offered to the main character at "half price." The main character kisses a woman who isn't his wife. Suggestions of nudity. Some innuendo.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character is said to have overcome a drinking problem; he seems to return to it here, although this may be a deception. Several scenes of characters drinking in taverns.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Last Knights is a medieval action movie centered on revenge. There's lots of fighting with swords and bows and arrows, as well as bloody wounds, neck slicing, beheading, and some violence toward women. Some kissing is shown (the main character kisses a woman who isn't his wife), and there are suggestions of nudity and some innuendo. The main character is said to be a recovering drinker, and he seems to start drinking again, but it may be a deception (part of a secret plan). Some scenes take place in taverns, with social drinking. Though the cast is excellent (and notably diverse), the movie is quite dull; it reportedly sat on the shelf for a while before being released. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .

Where to Watch

Videos and photos.

Last Knights Trailer

Community Reviews

  • Parents say (2)
  • Kids say (1)

Based on 2 parent reviews

What's the Story?

In what appears to be medieval times, troubled warrior Raiden ( Clive Owen ) has been taken in by a kind and benevolent master, Bartok ( Morgan Freeman ). When summoned to see the emperor ( Peyman Moaadi ), Bartok not only refuses to give the ruler a bribe but also speaks out against the emperor's injustices. At the suggestion of the emperor's vindictive right-hand man, Geza Mott ( Aksel Hennie ), Raiden is forced to kill Bartok. Geza Mott expects Raiden to seek revenge -- and becomes obsessed by it -- but Raiden simply appears to be drinking the days away; news even arrives that he has sold his sword. But when Geza Mott finally relaxes his guard, Raiden and his men unleash their long-gestating plan.

Is It Any Good?

Directed by Japanese filmmaker Kazuaki Kiriya, LAST KNIGHTS starts off promisingly, taking place in a land where many different cultures comfortably interact. The cast comes from the United States, the United Kingdom, Iran, Israel, Norway, New Zealand, etc. -- but aside from appearances, the movie doesn't use its diversity in any meaningful way. Instead, it becomes a dreadfully boring slog that takes itself far too seriously.

For a while, the excellent cast helps keep things afloat with their performances; Freeman and Owen in particular seem to have a strong bond. But when Freeman leaves the story, things get terribly slow and creaky. The filmmakers try to keep Raiden's "brilliant" plan a secret from the audience so that it comes as a "surprise," but because it's a waiting game, it just gets dull. Then the final battle is a mushy, gray blur. It's a shame that good actors like Shohreh Aghdashloo , Cliff Curtis , Moaadi, and the others have so very little to do here. The audience has even less.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about Last Knights ' violence . Is it thrilling or disturbing? What's the difference? Do you think all of it is necessary to the story?

Does the main character seem to have a drinking problem? How can you tell? What impact does that have on the story?

Does the movie seem to be taking place in the real world? How do various cultures interact in this movie? Did you notice any stereotypes ?

What's the appeal of stories that take place in "medieval" times?

Movie Details

  • In theaters : April 3, 2015
  • On DVD or streaming : June 30, 2015
  • Cast : Clive Owen , Morgan Freeman , Aksel Hennie
  • Director : Kazuaki Kiriya
  • Inclusion Information : Black actors
  • Studio : Lionsgate
  • Genre : Action/Adventure
  • Run time : 115 minutes
  • MPAA rating : R
  • MPAA explanation : some violence
  • Last updated : June 12, 2023

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movie review last knights

Film Review: ‘Last Knights’

Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman star in this cut-rate, moderately engaging medieval actioner.

By Justin Chang

Justin Chang

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The Last Knights AFM Sales

About 20 minutes or so into the bizarre European/Asian/Middle Eastern fusion cuisine that is “Last Knights,” Morgan Freeman delivers a speech as only Morgan Freeman can — the sort of blazingly eloquent, morally fiery declaration of principles that usually precedes a character’s righteous victory or his agonizing defeat. Freeman exits far too soon, but his presence is enough to momentarily jog your interest in this cut-rate, off-Hollywood debut for Japanese action helmer Kaz I Kiriya, starring Clive Owen as a medieval fighter who seeks to avenge his master’s death. Rapidly tilting into so-clever-it’s-stupid territory, the story hinges on the sort of dramatic plot twist that exists mainly to delay the inevitable bloodletting for as long as possible, though when it finally arrives, the mayhem is engaging enough on its own workmanlike terms. Following a brief theatrical window, the Lionsgate release should swing and parry its way into respectable VOD play.

He may be killing it on Cinemax’s “The Knick,” but Owen has floundered of late in his search for a big-screen vehicle worthy of his talents, and “Last Knights” doesn’t exactly buck the trend. Set in an unnamed empire governed by ancient feudal traditions and utopian racial politics, the story centers on Raiden (Owen), a skilled warrior who serves as loyal manservant and wise counselor to the nobleman Bartok (Freeman). Like other lords of the realm, Bartok is invited to pay his respects to a corrupt authority figure named Gezza Mott (Norwegian actor Aksel Hennie, fey and loathsome), but refuses to cough up the expensive bribe that is expected of him — an insult that leads to a physical altercation and ultimately earns Bartok a death sentence from the all-powerful Emperor (Iranian actor Peyman Moaadi, “A Separation”).

It’s at this point that Bartok gives his deeply stirring speech: In full view of his prosecutors, he gravely rebukes himself and his fellow colleagues for having allowed Gezza Mott to abuse his power and extort money from others. It’s a rare instance of rhetorical force in the screenplay (by Michael Konyves and Dove Sussman), and Freeman plays his martyrdom moment to the hilt. In a particularly cruel twist of the knife, it’s Raiden himself who is forced to administer the fatal beheading, cutting down a master he’s grown to love the way a son loves a father. Not long thereafter, Bartok’s house is dismantled, his family is dispersed, and his men (a motley assortment of faces including Cliff Curtis, Giorgio Caputo, Val Lauren and Michael Lombardi) are dismissed. Raiden, racked with guilt and despair, sells his precious sword — a gift from Bartok himself — and falls into a wretched yearlong spiral of boozing and whoring, driving away his faithful wife (Ayelet Zurer) in the process.

Meanwhile, Gezza Mott locks himself away in his heavily fortified compound, yells insults at his personal bodyguard (Tsuyoshi Ihara), and is unable to shake the feeling that somehow, somewhere, his misdeeds are going to come back to haunt him. (Ye think?) Since it’s a foregone conclusion that the movie will end with Raiden and his men exacting bloody revenge, there’s something simultaneously exasperating and enjoyable about the lengths to which the filmmakers go in order to throw us off the narrative scent, patiently building to a revelation (if that’s the word) that borrows not just a narrative trick but a crucial image from the climax of “The Usual Suspects.”

“Last Knights” is a fairly ludicrous mystery and a so-so action movie, but it’s nonetheless been constructed with an earnest attention to detail that shouldn’t be taken for granted. The red herrings, for all their obviousness, are lined up with meticulous care. There’s a similar deftness to the staging of the combat sequences, which proceed methodically from one obstacle to the next as our heroes storm the castle, neatly immersing us in the logistics of how to lower a drawbridge and penetrate an enemy lair while evading detection for as long as possible. In its narrative structure and its climactic action, the movie means to impress upon us the value of collaboration and perseverance, as well as the pleasure of seeing so many seemingly disparate puzzle pieces coming together as a unified whole.

Unfortunately, it’s “Last Knights” that itself never fully comes together, as Kiriya — a proficient enough craftsman whose action chops were apparent in his 2004 debut, “Casshern” — fails to bring his vision of ancient times to fully coherent life. Admirably colorblind though it may be, the international casting (which includes the welcome presence of South Korean veteran Ahn Sung-ki as Gezza Mott’s wise father-in-law) somehow manages to seem at once calculated and arbitrary; the effect is that of an old-fashioned Europudding production with slightly more exotic garnishes than usual. Owen, though watchable as ever, never gets a compelling grip on a character who barely exists in two dimensions. And while d.p. Antonio Riestra effectively captures the mood of the picture (shot in the Czech Republic) with a steel-gray palette in scenic widescreen compositions, some of the f/x work is glaringly subpar: You’ve seen winter-themed screensavers with more persuasive-looking snowfall.

Reviewed at Lionsgate screening room, Santa Monica, Calif., March 10, 2015. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 115 MIN.

  • Production: A Lionsgate release of a Grindstone Entertainment Group presentation of a Luka production in association with Union Investment Partners, Timewise Investment and DMM.com. Produced by Luci Kim, Kaz I Kiriya. Executive producers, Kate Hong, Lee Jea Woo, Choi Pyung-ho, Keishi Kameyama, Hiroshi Matsumura, Kang Yeong-shin, Andrew Man, Jim Thompson, Bae Yong-kook, Russell Levine, Chip Diggins, Jay Stern, Barry Brooker, Stan Wertlieb, Nick Thurlow, Gary Hamilton. Co-producers, Kevan Van Thompson, Joyce Heeyoung Cho, Michelle Chubarov McIntosh. Co-executive producers, Ryan Black, Cha Won Chun, Samuel Yeunju Ha, Huh Soo Young.
  • Crew: Directed by Kaz I Kiriya. Screenplay, Michael Konyves, Dove Sussman. Camera (color, widescreen), Antonio Riestra; editor, Mark Sanger; music, Martin Tillmann, Satnam Ramgotra; music supervisor, Andy Ross; production designer, Ricky Eyres; costume designer, Tina Kalivas; visual effects supervisor, Seong Ho Jang; second unit director, Doo Hung Jung, casting, Tricia Wood, Deborah Aquila, Jennifer Smith.
  • With: Clive Owen, Cliff Curtis, Aksel Hennie, Peyman Moaadi, Ayelet Zurer, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ahn Sung-ki, Morgan Freeman.

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‘last knights’: film review.

Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman headline an international cast in this sword-clashing tale of revenge and honor.

By THR Staff

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'Last Knights': Film Review

Last Knights Still - H 2015

“Only time will tell how we’re remembered,” intones Clive Owen in the new sword-clanging revenge epic in which he gets all medieval on our asses. Unfortunately, time—hell, not even the present—is likely to be kind to this misbegotten film which squanders the talents of not only Owen, enjoying a career resurgence thanks to his acclaimed turn in Cinemax’s The Knick , but also Morgan Freeman . The latter—spoiler alert—at least manages to exit the proceedings fairly early on. Filmed several years ago but only now getting a limited release in theaters and on VOD, Last Knights should have been left moldering on the shelf.

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Owen plays Raiden, as a warrior “of peasant stock” who was orphaned as a young boy. His father figure is his master, Bartok (Freeman), who makes an impassioned and brave stand against the unnamed country’s oppressive emperor ( Payman Maadi ). When Bartok refuses to kowtow to his sadistic henchman Geza Mott (an arresting Aksel Hennie , of Headhunters ), he’s promptly taken prisoner. Ordered to kill his venerable master, his loyal follower at first refuses, but eventually follows Bartok’s self-sacrificial instruction to do the deadly deed.

The Bottom Line Not even the talented cast can rescue this oppressively dull period epic

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Cue the resulting violent mayhem, as Raiden vows revenge, enlisting his fellow knights, including his chief cohort ( Cliff Curtis ), in an elaborate siege of the emperor’s castle, complete with an Apocalypse Now -style ominous rising of heads from water, but not before engaging in endless speechifying about “honor.”

Directed by Japanese filmmaker Kazuaki Kiriya ( Casshern , Goemon ), this international production features the sort of polyglot cast designed to appeal to as many territories as possible. Besides the British Owen and American Freeman, there are actors of Norwegian (Hennie), New Zealand (Curtis), Iranian (Maadi and Shohreh Ashdashloo , the latter wasted), Israeli ( Ayelet Zurer ) and South Korean ( Sung Ki Ahn ) descent. It’s a veritable Middle Ages melting pot.

Neither the dramatic nor action elements are remotely compelling, with the nearly two-hour running time feeling interminable. Freeman briefly anchors the proceedings with his customary gravitas, while the normally charismatic Owen is mainly reduced to either glowering or brooding, at least when he’s not crossing swords.

Read more Tom Ford Teams With George Clooney for Thriller ‘Nocturnal Animals’ (Exclusive)

Photographed by Antonio Riestra (yes, we can add Mexico to the list of contributing countries, as well as the Czech Republic, where this would-be epic was filmed)—in the monochromatic hues that have become a period picture cliché, Last Knights mainly serves to whet the appetite for the upcoming season of the far superior Game of Thrones .

Production: Luka Productions, Czech Anglo Productions Cast: Clive Owen, Morgan Freeman, Cliff Curtis, Aksel Hennie, Payman Maadi, Ayelet Zurer, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Sung Ki Ahn Director: Kazuaki Kiriya Screenwriters: Michael Konyves, Dove Sussman Producers: Luci Kim, Kazuaki Kiriya Executive producers: Kate Hong, Lee Jea Wook, Choi Pyung Ho, Keishi Kameyama, Hiroshi Matsumura, Kang Yeong Shin, Andrew Mann, Jim Thompson, Young Kook Bea, Russell Levine, Chip Diggins, Jay Stern, Barry Brooker, Stan Wertlieb, Nick Thurlow, Gary Hamilton Director of photography: Antonio Riestra Production designer: Ricky Eyres Editor: Mark Sanger Costume designer: Tina Kalivas Composers: Martin Tillmann, Satnam Ramgotra Casting: Tricia Wood, Deborah Aquila, Jennifer Smith Rated R, 115 minutes

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Review: ‘Last Knights’ Has Sword Swinging and Cape Twirling in the Name of Revenge

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By Manohla Dargis

  • April 2, 2015

“Last Knights,” a medieval-esque potboiler, features a lineup of pedigreed jaw-clenchers who can swing swords without letting their paychecks show too much. Among the nimblest is Clive Owen, who makes fast and furious with a sword in between uttering lines like “I’m Commander Raiden of the Seventh Rank” and “I follow you, my lord.” That would be his liege and ours, Morgan Freeman, whose job here is to gild the mold, as in: “During the long, dark period of the great wars, an elite class of soldier rose from battle. Their unbreakable code was simple.”

The code is as simplistic as announced and mostly involves men, honor, vengeance, cool-looking fights and the fantasy of the good death, the kind that ends with blood garnishing a scene rather than curdling the mood. The movie’s lineage can be traced to perennial favorites like the story of 47 Ronin, in which loyal vassals avenge their master; its reason for being doubtless owes something to “Game of Thrones,” with its tribal warfare, Shakespearean overtones and international appeal . Much as in 47 Ronin, Mr. Freeman’s character, Lord Bartok, insults a member of the corrupt court and pays a disastrous price, leading to various downwardly spiraling calamities: His palace is torched, his land seized and his people turned out. Commander Raiden, meanwhile, goes on an exceedingly long bender.

The Japanese director, Kazuaki Kiriya, establishes his action-flick bona fides soon after the movie opens with some deep-forest slicing, dicing, clanging and cape-and-blade twirling. Form shares the stage with function both in this inaugural match and in later fights, where the graceful arc of a cape, the metallic scrape of an unsheathing sword, the stillness of a face and even the pauses register as meaningfully as palpable hits. When Raiden freezes, catlike, after a whirling dervish move, the moment invokes those used in karate demonstrations. They look cool, but they also resonate. Or, as George Balanchine once wrote : “A pause, an interruption, is never empty space between indicated sounds. It is not just nothing. It acts as a carrying agent from the last sound to the next one.”

movie review last knights

In classic B-movie tradition, the story is just the stuff that holds together the weapon fetishism and the battles, the costumes and the poses. With Bartok gone, Raiden and his no-longer merry men struggle to adapt to their new normal even as their foes, the emperor (Payman Maadi) and his villainous adviser, Geza Mott (Aksel Hennie), continue their reign of terror, which mainly seems to involve robbing the restless nobility. Geza Mott, as befits his wringing hands and headbanging moniker, also slaps around his wife, Hannah (Park Si-Yeon). There’s plenty of spousal abuse in this man’s world and even Raiden ends up spending his days and nights quaffing booze or stumbling through the streets, allowing his wife, Naomi (Ayelet Zurer), to suffer in dim, unflattering lighting.

Ms. Zurer’s casting is worth noting because she’s an age-appropriate foil for Mr. Owen, a fairly unusual occurrence, and because, as an Israeli, she’s part of the movie’s internationalism. Among the familiar faces are Mr. Maadi, who played the husband in the Iranian art-house hit “A Separation”; the Iranian-born actress Shohreh Aghdashloo; the New Zealand utility player Cliff Curtis; and the Korean-Japanese actor Tsuyoshi Ihara. Years ago, the largely disparaging descriptor Euro-pudding emerged for European co-productions that crossed borders in terms of their financing if not necessarily their stories. By contrast, global goulash like “Last Knights” — which was shot in the Czech Republic — is located in only one domain: that realm known as the international marketplace.

Its cast aside, “Last Knights” proves as square and blandly manly as an old “ Prince Valiant ” comic strip. Mr. Owen’s hairdo and the faint smile edging his lips are more fetching than anything about Val, and the movie’s violence is more explicit than in most vintage comics, but “Knights” also works by combining narrative simplicity with moral certitude and appealing graphics. When Raiden and his men go into battle, their jet-black horses look as if they’ve been obsessively-compulsively dyed to match their riders’ leathery accouterments. Yet what those riders do isn’t all that different from what happens in a “Prince Valiant” panel: “The men put their gear in order and carefully sharpen their swords.” As is often the case in genre cinema, everything is different and exactly the same.

“Last Knights” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardians). Bloody swordplay and one startlingly mobile beheaded body.

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Review: ‘last knights’ puts everything into the last act (includes first-hand account).

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People’s fascination with the medieval era can be traced to long before George R. R. Martin penned the Westeros odyssey in the now widely popular Game of Thrones series. The many stories surrounding King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table captured people’s imaginations and have been translated into countless films and books. The period offers so many opportunities for tales of love, bravery, allegiance and war. Last Knights are a dying breed whose fierce loyalty knows no limits.

Bartok ( Morgan Freeman ) is a nobleman who’s earned the commitment of his knights through mutual respect. Having rescued Raiden ( Clive Owen ) from a dark path in his youth, he now captains the men and is the closest Bartok has come to a son of his own. When a greedy minister (Aksel Hennie) oversteps his authority, Bartok refuses to stand for the injustice and pays dearly for his opposition. Devastated by the condemnation of their master, Raiden’s men plot his revenge.

This is a film that concerns itself with absolute corruption and loyalty. On the one hand, the minister’s depravity spreads through every aspect of the kingdom and almost everyone is afraid to challenge his immorality. He explicitly demands substantial kickbacks from all the nobleman and frequently abuses his wife. The emperor (Peyman Moaadi) tolerates his behaviour as if under a spell similar to the one that compelled Théoden to follow the advice of Grima a.k.a. “Wormtongue” in The Lord of the Rings . Conversely, Raiden’s and his men’s allegiance to Bartok is infinite, each choosing to follow his command and defend him with their lives, exhibiting the true honour of a knight that is no longer widespread amongst those who serve. Unfortunately for Ito (Tsuyoshi Ihara), the same code of honour obliges him to protect his master, the minister.

After Bartok questions the state of affairs, the attention shifts to Raiden’s incomprehensible despair and the efforts of the knights to avenge their master intercut with the minister’s paranoia and widening influence. What this amounts to is a lot of talking and covert business, but not much fighting. In spite of the noticeably reduced pace, it’s mostly bearable even if it does go on for too long. And the audience’s patience is eventually rewarded with an epic battle sequence worthy of a medieval production. Sword-fighting, arrows flying, explosions and far from even odds produce a thrilling ending that redeems most of the film’s other faults.

Director: Kazuaki Kiriya Starring: Clive Owen , Morgan Freeman and Aksel Hennie

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Sarah Gopaul is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for film news, a member of the Online Film Critics Society and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved critic.

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Review: ‘Last Knights’ a pale ‘Game of Thrones’ wannabe

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Armor-clad hooey straight from the “Game of Thrones” imitation playbook, although decidedly less cynical than HBO’s wily political saga, the medieval-tinged adventure “Last Knights” will test your patience for speeches about honor, grim declarations of loyalty and pre-battle glowering.

Japanese director Kazuaki Kiriya’s handsomely straightforward but humorless tale, written by Michael Konyves and Dove Sussman, concerns a tight band of warriors led by Raiden (a suitably commander-like Clive Owen), who seek revenge for the unjust treatment of their master Bartok (Morgan Freeman), a principled lord openly defying the emperor’s corrupt minister (Aksel Hennie). The first hour is a wintry talkathon, while the second — set a year later and concerning plans for a climactic castle siege — plays like the dreariest feudal heist movie until the swordplay starts.

The most intriguing feature is the movie’s nation-blind casting, imagining a feudal world with faces and accents from South Korea, Norway, Japan and Iran. (Although the dialogue doesn’t always help a few of the English-as-second-language performances.) But even with this admirably international approach to fantasy roles, it’s noteworthy that none of the warriors or leaders — the ones who drive the story — are played by women, meaning a great actress such as Shohreh Aghdashloo is relegated to a few pained expressions as Freeman’s worried wife. “Last Knights,” as generic as it is, is nevertheless a Boys Club.

----------------------

“Last Knights”

MPAA rating: R for some violence.

Running time: 1 hour, 55 minutes.

Playing: At Sundance Sunset, West Hollywood.

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movie review last knights

LAST KNIGHTS

"fighting medieval corruption".

movie review last knights

What You Need To Know:

(B, H, L, VVV, S, AA, MM) Light moral worldview about duty, honor, justice as hero fights corruption in a fictional kingdom, but in a humanist setting with no reference to religion or God though not Anti-God content, either; one obscenity; strong and brief very strong violence includes fighting, arrows kill men, swords, and a couple decapitations, plus it’s implied the villain beats his wife; a scene of implied adultery and prostitution turns out to be faked for a spy’s benefit; no nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; no smoking or drugs; and, bribery, corruption.

More Detail:

LAST KNIGHTS is a medieval adventure story set in a fictional time in a fictional world about a knight out to revenge his murdered master, who rebelled and spoke out against corruption in the emperor’s court. It’s an interesting, compelling adventure, but its positive elements are only light overall, and there’s some very strong violence as the hero and his fellow knights overturn the powerful villain in the emperor’s court, who was the source of the worst corruption.

The movie opens with Raiden’s master Lord Bartok (played by Morgan Freeman) being ordered to the empire’s capital to pay homage to the Emperor’s new minister, a corrupt man by the name of Gezza (“Geeza”) Mott. Mott has instituted a system of bribes for noblemen like Bartok, but Bartok chafes at the system. Instead of a nice bribe, Bartok arrives at the capitol with an empty box for Mott, which, of course, infuriates Mott.

Bartok is put on trial for treason. Instead of apologizing, he condemns the Emperor’s new minister and his corruption, adding that the corruption taints the whole empire, including the Emperor. The Emperor orders Raiden himself to behead Bartok right then and there, and all of Bartok’s property is seized. Raiden hesitates, but Bartok orders him not to rebel against the order.

Now without a master, Raiden is devastated by what happened. Though he’s married to a wonderful, loyal woman, he takes up gambling, drinking and womanizing – the things he did in the past before Bartok pulled him out of the gutter. Or, so everyone, including his wife, thinks. Raiden’s actions, however, are all part of a plot with Bartok’s other former knights to fool Mott and the Emperor, infiltrate Mott’s reinforced castle, separate Mott from his men, and mete out justice to Mott. Will Raiden and the knights succeed in their plan?

LAST KNIGHTS has a straightforward, compelling story, with some elaborate sets that give the movie plenty of visual atmosphere. Clive Owen as Raiden, Morgan Freeman as Bartok and the rest of the cast do a good job keeping viewers focused on the characters and how their actions fit into the story. The plot to infiltrate Mott’s castle seems far-fetched, but it plays out in an exciting way that holds your attention. The audience wants Raiden and his friends to succeed.

Though LAST KNIGHTS is something of a morality tale, it’s set in a strange medieval world that’s become corrupt. So, it’s a story about duty, honor, loyalty, and justice. That said, there are plenty of swords and arrows, including some very strong violence such as decapitations. Also, although Raiden really isn’t cheating on his wife, there are a couple scenes suggesting that’s what he’s doing, because the villain has sent spies to track Raiden’s every movement. It’s clever how the filmmakers reveal the opposite, but there’s some brief salacious innuendo before that happens.

All in all, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for LAST KNIGHTS.

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Last Knights Review

Last Knights

17 Apr 2015

112 minutes

Last Knights

Clive Owen and (for a while) Morgan Freeman figure in this knights-and-honour pudding, which is surprisingly watchable rubbish. The atrocious script has much to jeer, the action’s so-so, and the multinational cast brings back memories of Sean Connery’s Scot Spaniard in Highlander. (An ‘Emperor’ is played by Iranian actor-director Peyman Moaadi from A Separation.) Yet Last Knights has mild interest if you dodge the spoiler-heavy trailer, especially in the drama’s focus on the paranoid fears of the villain (played by Norway’s Askel Hennie). Directed by Japan’s Kazuaki Kiriya, don’t expect the bright sumptuousness of his Casshern or Goemon, but the pale, papery look works quite well.

Flickering Myth

Geek Culture | Movies, TV, Comic Books & Video Games

Movie Review – Last Knights (2015)

April 17, 2015 by Gary Collinson

Last Knights , 2015.

Directed by Kazuaki Kiriya. Starring Clive Owen, Morgan Freeman, Aksel Hennie, Cliff Curtis, Dave Legeno and Ayelet Zurer.

Academy Award Nominee Clive Owen delivers an electrifying performance as a fallen warrior who rises against a corrupt and sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonored master, Academy Award Winner Morgan Freeman  in this epic, sword-clashing adventure of loyalty, honor, and vengeance.

If Blockbuster was still a feature of the high street, you would find Last Knights at the bottom of the bargain bin next to a 90s Jennifer Lopez rom-com. Director Kazuaki Kiriya squanders a fairly impressive cast-who frankly look more interested in what they’re going to have for dinner than the source material-and creates a film impressively humourless, dull and painfully mediocre.

Morgan Freeman stars as Bartok, a wise leader with a hankering for motivational speeches, who after 20 minutes dies after all but teasing a corrupt minister (Aksel Hennie). Hennie does as any cliched dictator does and acts a bit of a dick. Enter Clive Owen who attempts to assemble a group of knights to enact revenge-although you have to swim through a sea of exposition, rubbish set-pieces and grossly uninteresting characters to create even the tiniest bit of enthusiasm to reach the half decent final action sequence.

Although these action sequences look as if shot in minutes, by students, off the M1. The cinematography only makes the situation greyer, and far more glum. Frankly, it’s impossible to care who lives or dies when you haven’t a clue who is fighting. Similarly, the editing-scattershot and lazy-worsens the occasion, stretching the film to what feels like a life time.

The characters are interchangeable, the action sequences tedious and the script dull (really, really, really dull). The Blockbuster bargain bin would be too much praise.

Flickering Myth Rating  – Film: ★ / Movie: ★

Thomas Harris

movie review last knights

About Gary Collinson

Gary Collinson is a film, television and digital content producer and writer, who is the founder of the pop culture website FlickeringMyth.com and executive producer of the upcoming gothic horror feature film 'The Baby in the Basket'. He has over 20 years of experience within the industry, including a decade of teaching and lecturing in film and media, and is the author of the book 'Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen'.

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Last Knights

Last Knights

  • A fallen warrior rises against a corrupt and sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonored master.
  • A fallen warrior rises against a corrupt and sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonored master in a sword-clashing adventure of loyalty, honor, and vengeance. — Lionsgate
  • When the corrupt minister Geza Mott demands more taxes from Lord Bartok, he goes to his castle with Commander Raiden and his knights. He challenges Geza Mott and tries to kill him but the Emperor sentences him to be beheaded by Raiden. Further, he deprives the castle and lands from his family. Geza Mott asks his commander to follow Raiden and builds an iron gate in the entrance of his castle expecting revenge, but Raiden prefers to drink instead becoming a drunkard. One year later, the knights want to seek revenge against the dishonor of their Lord. Geza Mott has neglected his security since Raiden is an alcoholic bum. What will happen to Raiden? — Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Burdened by the unbearable guilt of what he has done, Raiden--the battle-scarred swordsman and the once-proud Commander of the Seventh Rank--still drowns his sorrows, one long year later. However, as Geza Mott--the corrupt minister responsible for Raiden's fall from grace--fortifies his castle for fear of being targeted, Raiden's insuppressible values of duty, loyalty, and honour demand immediate action. Can Raiden confront his inner demons to finally reunite with his old comrades in arms, for one last battle for justice? — Nick Riganas
  • Bartok watches over his estate, a vassal kingdom to a great empire. Protecting the Bartok clan is Commander Raiden and his elite soldiers, who serve and protect Bartok. Raiden is surprised when Bartok tells him he is to be his heir, and gives him a sword. The empire has become corrupted and the evil minister, Geza Mott, humiliates Bartok by beating him with a stick for failing to provide an adequate bribe, until Bartok retaliates which is treason against the crown. Bartok is put to trial where he speaks openly of his disdain for what honour has become in the empire. He is sentenced to death and Raiden is ordered to execute his own master. Bartok's estate is divided and Raiden and the Bartok clan is disbanded. Geza Mott suspects Raiden will demand vengeance, and has his trusted warrior, Ito, watch Raiden to ensure there is no possibility of revenge. A year passes and we find Raiden is now a drunk. Geza is still highly fearful of Raiden's wrath and demands half his father-in-law's troops to safeguard him while he completes construction of his newly fortified estate, more soldiers than the emperor's own security detail. Raiden's wife, Naomi, couldn't bear to be with him as he had fallen so low, with Raiden even selling his sword for more drink. When Bartok's virgin daughter is offered to Raiden in a whorehouse he shows no concern for her, but leaves the premises. Geza finally relaxes and stops watching Raiden. It is now revealed that Raiden and the Bartok clan soldiers sacrificed everything for the illusion of a complete defeat, and have been waiting for the right time to gather together and regain the clan honour by avenging their master's death. Raiden's men have been working in secret, building up contacts and connections, and gathering intelligence about Geza's estate - even secretly altering his estate to help them in their cause. As Raiden's men infiltrate the estate, we find that Auguste secretly made a pact with Raiden to help him, in exchange for Raiden's help to free his daughter from her marriage to Geza Mott. Geza has always mistreated Auguste's daughter which, along with Bartok's execution, causes Auguste to see that his vicious son-in-law has no honour. Raiden and his men successfully infiltrate Geza's estate, are discovered, and Raiden's group has to face a large number of soldiers. Raiden's men fall one by one as they enter deep into Geza's estate. Ito took responsibility for his complacency and duels with Raiden, but unfortunately Ito's sword fails and Raiden kills him. Raiden breaks into Geza's bedroom and decapitates him. With Geza dead, Raiden's surviving group rescue Bartok's daughter and tell her that Bartok's honour is restored. The Emperor discusses with his council how to deal with Bartok's soldiers, and they caution him against the risk of turning the people against the crown. They realise that the public view Geza's death a righteous one, and widely support the Bartok clan. The council strongly suggests that any judgement should restore their honour, rather than make them martyrs. Raiden asks that he be the only one executed for Geza's death. The crown publicly admits the righteousness of the Bartok clan, but also reminds the crowd that killing a high council member is still the same as an attack on the emperor and Raiden will be executed. Before his execution, Raiden charges Lt. Cortez to take control of the surviving Bartok clan. Once inside, he sees Naomi one last time to apologize for her suffering before making peace with his own life. Raiden lowers his head with his eyes closed, and as the executioner draws back his sword, Raiden's eyes suddenly open wide and the screen goes to black . . . leaving hope that he survived.

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Movie Review: Last Knights

I thought this time I would do something a little different than my “Nostalgia Fever” game reviews, and do a movie review as noted in the title. This will be about Last Knights.

movie review last knights

Don’t get me wrong; I love looking back to games from yesteryear. I love playing games that stand the test of time and are enjoyable whether or not they’re popular or new. But like video games, movies have a bias and opinion on what’s good and what’s bad. Movies are meant to be enjoyed at once with family and friends, sitting in family rooms or theaters as a special night.

I also think back to my old job before I moved out of Nashua. It was a fun job bagging at a supermarket. Everyone was usually friendly, from the customers to the employees. I earned a good pay every week. And it was so close to home too. But what I liked best was how I could abuse the Redbox. Renting a movie costs a dollar a day ($1.50 for Bluray). So whenever I had to work 2 or 3 days in a row, I would rent the movie after work, watch it at home, and return it the next day before my shift.

I watched a lot of movies this way, some that just came out on DVD and others. Divergent,  Penguins of Madagascar, Big Hero 6, the Hobbit Trilogy, Godzilla… I could go on about reviews about each of them, from the ones I loved (Godzilla, Penguins), to the ones I actually felt were kind of bad (The Book of Life… and yes I will get into detail of why I didn’t like this one in a future review). But I also want to go over movies I think were panned too badly by critics who believe their egos are all that.

I want to review Last Knights, starring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman, if only because a lot of people hated it for some reason.

And personally, I beg to differ on what the critic believe about Last Knights.

I can’t even begin to describe how angry it gets me to see how many people slam this movie. How the plot dragged on. How bland it was. How boring it was.

They came to a movie expecting something action packed and dynamic. I can’t blame them, because at some points the movie was more exposition than action. But once the mandatory exposition happens, the real meat starts. And it’s not the night of the invasion at the climax. Well, partly. It’s the build-up towards it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The movie Last Knights takes place in a medieval world, and throws us right into the action with Clive Owen, playing as Raiden, quickly dispatching a group of bandits in a routine patrol with his fellow knights. It’s the action promised here that keeps you glued in your seat and hoping for more, as well as asking questions.

The questions are asked first. Raiden serves his benevolent lord Bartok (Morgan Freeman). Things take a turn for the worse when a corrupt and evil minister, Geza Mott (Aksel Hennie) tries to assimilate the neighboring lands of the empire through bribery and show of force. Bartok refuses, and is put into trial when what was meant as “negotiation” escalates to assaulting the minister. But because Geza is minister to the Emperor (Peyman Moaddi), he has to be slain as punishment. As added insult, it has to be Raiden that makes the killing blow; and this is after Bartok had accepted him as his successor for his land.

Geza is satisfied to have taken revenge on Bartok, but he’s also worried that Raiden and his knights will return the favor if given the chance. He hides in his castle, fortifies its defenses, and assigns his warrior Ito (Tsuyoshi Ihara) to follow Raiden.

The Last Knights then makes a year-long time-skip. We focus on Raiden and the knights of Bartok, disbanded and living as common men without honor. Raiden in particular has become a drunk and despondent man, which eventually drives away his wife (Ayelet Zurer). But it is all a clever ruse, and I realized what it was emulating before the reveal.

The Last Knights is a movie adaptation to the real historic event of the Forty-Seven Ronin.

To summarize, a daiymo of a group of samurai was forced to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) after assaulting a court official. For a whole year, the samurai waited and planned to strike back,

Other critics recognize the similarity too, but seem to find the movie boring for not being original or entertaining enough. Maybe it’s because there was already a movie that aired with the same plot, called 47 Ronin no less, but I liked the direction of this movie.

The plan of the infiltration, even before Raiden broke out of his drunken persona, was carefully planned by each knight in the know. But it didn’t completely go off without a hitch. One of their own knights had planned to turn in another for monetary reward, and was killed before he could. The guards managed to sound the alarm during the ambush and ruined the sneak attack. A lot of Bartok’s knights died trying to take revenge, as opposed to the flawless victory in the story.

And in the end, Raiden successfully defeated Ito, before slaying the eccentric Geza. But despite the honor they have shown for the late Bartok, the Emperor has to punish the knights for slaying his minister. And unlike the original story where all the ronin turn themselves in, Raiden becomes the sole martyr. The movie ends without implying if he survived or not.

I don’t really see what the problem was with The Last Knights. Was it not actiony enough? Kind of hard to show constant fighting with the plot of 47 Ronin. Was it too dragged on? Admittedly the movie was slow to build momentum but I believe the climax really paid off. There were also enough differences to take it away from just another retelling of the story, like a romance side plot between one of the knight and an abused servant girl in Geza’s care.

I honestly recommend The Last Knights, though not if you’re expecting something intense and fast paced like Mission Impossible. The Last Knights is a tale of intrigue, redemption and honor, even at the cost of one’s life. I say it was a well done movie, though my opinion probably doesn’t matter. I’m not a critic, after all.

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Daily movie reviews, last knights (2015).

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Writer : Michael Konyves, Dove Sussman ( Screenplay )

Starring : Clive Owen, Morgan Freeman, Aksel Hennie, David Adegboyega, Cliff Curtis, Tsuyoshi Ihara

Plot : A fallen warrior rises against a corrupt and sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonoured master.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict : Horrendously Slow Start Solid Finish

Story : Last Knights starts by teaching us about an elite group of soldiers Raiden (Owen) is one of these great knights. These knights would be responsible for many body counts and helped build a country. Commander Raiden is a loyal knight to Lord Bartok (Freeman) who gets a message from the new minister Gezza Mott (Hennie) which leads to friction between Bartok and Raiden as Raiden believes they should accept the meeting while Bartok refuses to be demanded. Bartok is the last in the family line and is slowly dying, he has picked Raiden to be his replacement as he reluctantly accepts the honour.

Raiden talks Bartok into attending the meeting and along with his men who get led by Lt Cortez (Curtis). Bartok chooses an insulting gift for the new minister as we see a game of one up man ship happening between the two leaders while the two second in command Raiden and Ito (Ihara) bond over mutual respect. Bartok ends up attacking the minister leading to him having to face the Emperor who has to decide his fate. The Emperor chooses death and Raiden has to be the one to kill his master.

Gezza Mott is worried that Raiden will come for revenge and goes straight to the Emperor to try and deal with this new problem. The Emperor refuses to until there is proof because once he turns on a warrior he will lose the trust of all of the soldiers. One year passes and all of the men have now gone their separate ways and Gezza Mott is still showing the scares of his confrontation between Bartok but his power has continued to go to his head. Raiden has fallen back into his ways of drinking where he makes his bad decisions.

unit

Last Knights is a solid revenge film but it does have its problems, the whole opening half of the film comes off very slow moving and then suddenly it jumps a year forward. The jump gives us nothing but more nothingness happening before revealing there is a bigger plan, once we see this we start to get interested but this is over an hour into the film. I feel this could have easily had a large amount cut and still been interesting but the good final act won’t get watched by enough people because of how slow the start ends up being. (5/10)

Actor Review

Clive Owen : Commander Raiden is Bartok’s most loyal knight and a true warrior who helps advice Bartok through his decisions. When Bartok enrages the emperor Raiden is forced to kill Bartok which then leads him to run the house and become lord. Clive way once tipped to be the next James Bond, seriously what happened, he has slipped off the face making films that constantly fail in the cinema. (5 /10 )

raiden

Morgan Freeman : Lord Bartok is Commander Raiden master and ends up enraging the minister before being put to death by the Emperor. He goes out after making a powerful speech to try and show the corruption Gezza Mott has created. Morgan doesn’t seem to be at his best here and doesn’t end up being around as long as we would have liked. (5 /10 )

bartok

Aksel Hennie : Gezza Mott is the new minister who wants gifts and after Bartok gives him an insulting gift he ends up getting him killed before wanting to protect only himself from his coward like ways he has created around himself. Aksel does actually give a good performance as the cowardly minister who is only after making himself safe. (7 /10 )

Cliff Curtis : Lt Cortez is the one man Raiden has put in charge to make him a general of all of the warriors, he trains them to become the best before leading them into battle. Cliff does a good job in this role where he gets to show a kick ass side with the battles but his humble size between them. (7 /10 )

Tsuyoshi Ihara : Ito is the leader of the warriors working for Gezza Mott, he is all about honour and respect and doesn’t care which side you are on as long as you respect the ways. Tsuyoshi manages to play the character that is meant to be siding with the villain and make him come off as a good character very well. (7 /10 )

Support Cast : Last Knights has a large supporting cast that all help with the battles scenes and the politics being played out by the minister. They do all help with explanation of what is going on.

Director Review : Kazuaki Kiriya – Kazuaki does a solid job directing because the opening half is very slow going but the final act is all pulled off with great action packed sequences. (6 /10 )

Action : Last Knights puts together the fighting sequences very well and the wait for them to happen is well worth it. (7 /10 )

Settings : Last Knights creates settings that look very much like the part for the time period created for the events to take place in. (9 /10 )

Suggestion : Last Knights is one to try, I personally think it was bit too slow but the final act saves it all, but if you enjoy the film set in the era of honour you will enjoy this one. (Try it)

Best Part : Battle between Ito and Raiden.

Worst Part : Slow starting.

Action Scene Of The Film : Final sequence.

Funniest Scene : He can keep the box too.

Believability : No (0 /10 )

Chances of Tears : No (0 /10 )

Chances of Sequel : No

Post Credits Scene : No

Oscar Chances : No

Runtime : 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Overall: Last Knights is a solid film about honour that starts very slow but finishes strong.

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One comment

They had medical knowledge of cancer in the Medieval era?

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Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman are the Last Knights of this humorless slog

The heroes of Last Knights live by an ancient warrior’s code, which is another way of saying that they’re sullen, humorless lugs. As these traits are right in Clive Owen’s wheelhouse, he gives a credible performance; his Commander Raiden (no relation to the triangle-hatted Mortal Kombat combatant) trudges through his paces with exactly the right sense of weary nobility. But while Raiden has good reasons to feel ground down by his surroundings by the end, the viewers of Japanese director Kazuaki Kiriya’s low-budget Middle-Ages riff may end up wondering what they’ve done to deserve such a drab, punishing night at the movies.

Last Knights embraces clichés like an old friend: It casts Morgan Freeman, for God’s sake, as a wise old leader named Bartok (no relation to the atonal Hungarian composer) with a sense of justice and a fondness for long leisurely speeches. In one of these, he assures his right-hand man—that’d be the impressively lethal and loyal Mr. Raiden—that in the event of his death, the entire kingdom will be at the younger man’s disposal. This revelation leads us to wonder just how long we’ll have to wait for old Bartok to kick the bucket.

The answer turns out to be about 20 minutes, as Raiden is suckered into delivering the death blow by a corrupt minister (Aksel Hennie) with designs on being the leader of the realm. (Exactly how the villain’s plans to subjugate and tax the population differs from Bartok’s is something the script never bothers to address in detail.) The rest of this very long and slow movie is given over to our hero’s revenge, which is achieved via an uprising of knights whose basic interchangeability (they’re all sullen, humorless lugs) belies their variegated ethnicities.

As with the deliberately vague period setting, the film’s colorblind casting seems meant to place it outside of actual history. This strategy would be more effective and resonant if any of the talented international performers on hand were given anything interesting to do. But they mostly just hang out in the shadows. Iranian actor Peyman Moaadi, so amazing in A Separation , is wasted as a listless emperor, while Maori star Cliff Curtis doesn’t even get any good lines in a burly sidekick role.

In the absence of compelling characters or a surprising storyline, Last Knights could have gotten by with some grand old action-movie style. For instance, Kiriya brought off the fight sequences in his Robin Hood-as-ninja film Goemon with aplomb. This time out, however, he cloaks the proceedings in so much murky grayness that the choreography of bodies and swords is nearly indiscernible. The editing, meanwhile, is laggard: There’s no reason for a film with a plot this simple to drag on to the two-hour mark. In a movie filled with public executions, that running time qualifies as truly cruel and unusual punishment.

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Movie: Last Knights

Country of Origin: U.S.A

Language: English

Genre: Drama, History, Action, Adventure

Last Knights Movie Review:

Kazuaki Kiriya  may  not have directed a “great” film till now, but still Last Knights in my view is an entertaining one. Last Knights boasts a long list of promising actors from different countries. It has a good, if not the  best plot for a Medieval History based movie. The background score is fine, not something I will talk about specifically as I normally do. Last Knight has twists and turns that are just enough to make you feel good about it. Talking about the “Critical Appreciation”, I think Last Knights is very harshly dealt by the critics all over the world. This movie is not bad as its ratings are by the critics. I have seen far worse movies than this and they have decent ratings too from the critics.

Last Knights Movie Still

Anyways, let’s talk about the storyline of Last Knights. This film is nothing but a story of HONOR, first lost and then regained. Talking of honor as “everything” in this age may sound little absurd, but there was indeed a time when honor was a very valuable thing for people. Commander Raiden (Clive Owen) loses his master Lord Bartok (Morgan Freeman) . Actually, Raiden himself has to behead his master (This is something you guys need to find out why?). After it, on the orders of the Emperor (Peyman Moaadi) , the Bartok lands are being confiscated by the empire and Raiden alongside many Bartok clan people has to leave his home. All this happened because of a greedy minister Geeza Mott ( Aksel Hennie ) who wanted to make himself rich by asking bribes from all the vassal states of the empire which Lord Bartok opposed public for which he had to pay a heavy price.

The movie moves forward when Gizza Mott becomes obsessed with Raiden, that he is not going to sit idle and will take his vengeance. For over a year he follows Raiden and his fellow legionnaires, but after getting no indication of him planning an attack decides to leave this issue. In the meantime, Gizza Mott has fortified his palace with more security than even the emperor himself.

Now, comes an interesting twist in the plot when it is revealed that for over a year Raiden and his followers are actually acting to “deceive” Gizza Mott and his men knowing that they are being watched every second throughout the day. And, now when they have finally outwitted their enemy. It is time to launch an offensive, I am not revealing its details as it is something very interesting and to me the “USP” of Last Knights. After a gruesome battle at the palace of Gizza Mott who has now become the first council to the emperor commander Raiden kills him. After this Raiden surrenders himself to the Emperor. When the Emperor (after consulting the nobility) declares Bartok rebels as National Heroes but announces that the act of violence against the first council is similar to the attack against the Emperor himself and, therefore, the leader i.e. Commander Raiden must be put to death. The movie ends with Raiden on his knees ready for his punishment of getting behead and suddenly there is a flashback….

Last Knights

My Verdict & Rating of Last Knights:

I gave this film 7 out of 10 only. The reason is that if Last Knights had to become an epic it must have been much longer than what it is. Everything is done very well, but then suddenly you feel that it could have been done in a more detailed manner, especially the later part of the story. One more thing was not very convincing about Last Knights was its music and background score that wasn’t great as I always expect from a Medieval History theme-based film. But, in any manner, this is not a “bad movie” at all as many of the leading movie critics want us to believe. I strongly recommend it to every history genre movie lover and I am dead sure you all will love it. It has its own share of twists and turns, although I agree that story is not that strong. The last thing I want to mention especially for the History Lovers is that this movie has nothing to do with history. Last Knights is purely a work of fiction, so don’t relate it to anything in history just watch it and enjoy it.

Thanks! for reading this review and always stay tuned for more. You can suggest movies on which you would love to see me write a review on our Facebook Page .

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COMMENTS

  1. Last Knights movie review & film summary (2015)

    Powered by JustWatch "Last Knights" is so thoroughly mediocre, so dully empty, that it's difficult to summon the enthusiasm to trash it. And yet, duty calls. Duty—and honor, and loyalty—are the themes of this thoroughly forgettable, vaguely medieval action epic, and the subjects of lengthy and generic monologues.

  2. Last Knights

    Tomatometer 31 Reviews 47% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings What to know Critics Consensus As blandly unimaginative as its title, Last Knights revisits well-worn sword-and-sandal tropes without...

  3. Last Knights (2015)

    8/10 Pretty good medieval action drama flick root99 3 April 2015 I am compelled to write my first review after 4 years on IMDb due to the bad reviews by critics. First off, I completely enjoyed this movie.

  4. Last Knights (2015)

    IMDb RATING 6.2 /10 45K YOUR RATING Rate POPULARITY 4,763 1,315 Play trailer 2:31 6 Videos 52 Photos Action Drama History A fallen warrior rises against a corrupt and sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonored master. Director Kazuaki Kiriya Writers Michael Konyves Dove Sussman Stars Clive Owen Morgan Freeman Aksel Hennie

  5. Last Knights

    Geza relaxes his watch on Raiden. Raiden and the Bartok clan soldiers have sacrificed everything for the illusion of complete defeat, while preparing to avenge Bartok's death. Auguste, an old friend of Bartok, has made a pact to help Raiden in return for freeing his daughter from her abusive marriage to Geza.

  6. Last Knights Review

    Verdict It's not surprising that Last Knights is subpar -- the film was shot several years ago and is only now getting a limited release in theaters and on VOD -- but it's still disappointing.

  7. Last Knights

    There's a distinct lack of excitement and sense of adventure that underlines Japanese director Kazuaki Kiriya's medieval-fantasy, Last Knights; a slow, puzzling and dreary sword-and-sandals...

  8. Last Knights Movie Review

    Positive Messages The movie is mostly about revenge and deception. Positive Role Models The characters are sullen and violent and indulge Violence & Scariness Heavy fantasy-style violence. Swords; bows and arr Sex, Romance & Nudity A husband and wife kiss. A woman in a tavern is of Language Not present Products & Purchases Not present

  9. Film Review: 'Last Knights'

    MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 115 MIN. Production: A Lionsgate release of a Grindstone Entertainment Group presentation of a Luka production in association with Union Investment Partners, Timewise...

  10. 'Last Knights': Film Review

    'Last Knights': Film Review Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman headline an international cast in this sword-clashing tale of revenge and honor. By THR Staff March 25, 2015 9:00am Last Knights...

  11. Review: 'Last Knights' Has Sword Swinging and Cape Twirling in the Name

    This medieval-esque potboiler has a simple code of devotion to one's master, and mostly involves men, honor, vengeance, dramatic fights and the fantasy of the good death.

  12. Review: 'Last Knights' puts everything into the last act (Includes

    In spite of the noticeably reduced pace, it's mostly bearable even if it does go on for too long. And the audience's patience is eventually rewarded with an epic battle sequence worthy of a...

  13. Review: 'Last Knights' a pale 'Game of Thrones' wannabe

    Armor-clad hooey straight from the "Game of Thrones" imitation playbook, although decidedly less cynical than HBO's wily political saga, the medieval-tinged adventure "Last Knights" will test your ...

  14. Last Knights

    Metascore Generally Unfavorable Based on 13 Critic Reviews 27 User Score Generally Favorable Based on 88 User Ratings 7.1 My Score Hover and click to give a rating Add My Review Where to Watch Amazon ($3.59) All Watch Options Top Cast View All Clive Owen Raiden Morgan Freeman Bartok Aksel Hennie Geza Mott Payman Maadi Emperor Cliff Curtis

  15. Last Knights (2015)

    Last Knights is little more than a dutifully compiled collection of genre conventions, its tale of a group of brave knights seeking vengeance for their fallen leader so undemanding that it's almost charmingly pedestrian. 40. Variety Justin Chang. Last Knights is a fairly ludicrous mystery and a so-so action movie, but it's nonetheless been ...

  16. LAST KNIGHTS

    Reviews Movies LAST KNIGHTS "Fighting Medieval Corruption" Content: -2 Extreme caution for older teenagers and adults. Entertainment Quality: What You Need To Know: LAST KNIGHTS is a medieval adventure story set in a fictional time in a fictional world.

  17. Last Knights Review

    Last Knights Review. In an imaginary past, Raiden (Clive Owen) leads an elite troop of knights, utterly devoted to their honourable patriarch Bartok (Morgan Freeman). But Bartok becomes embroiled ...

  18. Movie Review

    Last Knights, 2015. Directed by Kazuaki Kiriya. Starring Clive Owen, Morgan Freeman, Aksel Hennie, Cliff Curtis, Dave Legeno and Ayelet Zurer. SYNOPSIS: Academy Award Nominee Clive Owen delivers ...

  19. Last Knights (2015)

    A fallen warrior rises against a corrupt and sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonored master in a sword-clashing adventure of loyalty, honor, and vengeance. — Lionsgate. When the corrupt minister Geza Mott demands more taxes from Lord Bartok, he goes to his castle with Commander Raiden and his knights. He challenges Geza Mott and tries to kill ...

  20. A Movie Review by Charles Caulkins: The Last Knights

    Movie Review: Last Knights. August 1, 2016 Articles, Frontpage, Movies / TV, ... The movie Last Knights takes place in a medieval world, and throws us right into the action with Clive Owen, playing as Raiden, quickly dispatching a group of bandits in a routine patrol with his fellow knights. It's the action promised here that keeps you glued ...

  21. Last Knights (2015)

    Story: Last Knights starts by teaching us about an elite group of soldiers Raiden (Owen) is one of these great knights.These knights would be responsible for many body counts and helped build a country. Commander Raiden is a loyal knight to Lord Bartok (Freeman) who gets a message from the new minister Gezza Mott (Hennie) which leads to friction between Bartok and Raiden as Raiden believes ...

  22. Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman are the Last Knights of this humorless slog

    The heroes of Last Knights live by an ancient warrior's code, which is another way of saying that they're sullen, humorless lugs.As these traits are right in Clive Owen's wheelhouse, he ...

  23. Last Knights

    Movie: Last Knights Year: 2015 Country of Origin: U.S.A Language: English Genre: Drama, History, Action, Adventure Last Knights Movie Review: Kazuaki Kiriya may not have directed a "great" film till now, but still Last Knights in my view is an entertaining one. Last Knights boasts a long list of promising actors from different countries. It has