Movie Review – Last Knights (2015)

Last Knights
Directed by Kazuaki Kiriya
Courtesy of Lionsgate
Release Date: June 30, 2015

last knights

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a decent fantasy flick, so I figured I was due. I love fantasy and sci-fi almost as much as I love horror, so I try to venture into those genres every once in a while. When I read the plot synopsis for LAST KNIGHTS, I knew I had to give it a look; I like Clive Owen and I’m a huge fan of Morgan Freeman’s acting, so this was a no-brainer. Thankfully, the movie delivers as well. Although the storyline might sound familiar, the film itself is taut and riveting, a welcome addition to the fantasy genre.

If you are not familiar with LAST KNIGHTS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:

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

Fans of cinema will probably be able to discern this film’s origins. If you are not well versed in the cinematic world, LAST KNIGHTS is a retelling of the 47 RONIN tale. Granted, this version takes several liberties, however the basis of the story is the same.

LAST KNIGHTS is shot well and looks decent onscreen. Surprisingly, several of the nighttime scenes appeared grainy on the Blu-ray I watched. I’m not sure if the lighting was too poor or if the camera that was used was just not up to par, but I think the picture quality could have been better. This only happens a couple of times, and the scenes are brief, so this isn’t a huge detractor.

The acting in LAST KNIGHTS is great, with Owen and Freeman offering their usual standard of excellence. I am also impressed with the performance of Aksel Hennie, who plays the villain, Gezza Mott. Hennie’s Norwegian accent gives his acting a unique flair, an attribute that people probably either love or hate; for me, it works, and it adds a new level of menace to his character.

As mentioned above, the story within LAST KNIGHTS is familiar, however I enjoy seeing it in a different setting. The concept of honor is something almost lost to modern-day society, so films that hold it in such high regard are a nice change of pace from most of what Hollywood spits out these days. The film does not bring any new viewpoints or twists on this story, but it still works nonetheless.

LAST KNIGHTS is a win for me, and I recommend it. There are only a couple of fight scenes throughout the film, which is a small letdown, but the fighting is only a tiny component of the film. Watch this for the relationships between masters and their retainers, as well as concepts of loyalty and honor. The film will be available next week, so make a note.

MSB

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