The name of Raiden (Clive Owen) instantly strikes terror into the hearts of men. Fuelled by anger he cut a path through endless numbers of men, but eventually turned his life around after pledging allegiance to Bartok (Morgan Freeman), the ruler of a small kingdom. When Bartok is summoned to meet with the sadistic ruler of the lands, Gezza mott (Aksel Hennie), Raiden is concerned for his masters life, and rightly so. Gezza mott has been extorting the land owners, and Bartok is prepared to stand against it. When Bartok pays with his life, Raiden is faced with a need for vengeance while also battling the demons of his past.
The Last Knights does exactly what you expect it to, although it may take some time to get there. Political betrayals, and talk of loyalty among brothers in arms fills the film, which looks like it’s trying to capitalize on the current fascination with shows like Game of Thrones. Make sure you’ve got some swords and a healthy dose of backstabbing and you have a winner. That may be true for fans of this style, but for anybody outside of that, there’s nothing really special to offer.
The greatest downfall of the film is the almost complete lack of action. There’s little touches of it here and there, but the majority of the story focuses on watching Raiden try to drink himself to death after Bartok is killed. Forced out of their lands, Raiden and the men who once fought by his side are forced to take up whatever jobs they may find, while spending their evenings in the local pub. The only real excitement to be found in these moments is with Aksel Hennie as the villainous Gezza mott. He’s paranoid that Raiden is out to destroy him, and the longer he waits for it, the worse it becomes, and watching him slowly fall apart over the course of the film is the only real joy to be found.
It’s quite obvious what will be coming, and the eventual attack on the fortress that Gezza mott has built is exciting, but it only happens after you’ve watched almost 90 minutes of talking. There’s nothing really wrong with everything that happens before the action fully starts, but there isn’t anything overly captivating about it either, leaving viewers impatiently waiting for what they know is coming. The film could lose 20 minutes and you’d never notice, and it would also get you to the goal a lot quicker.