Monday, May 4, 2015

Film Review: Last Knights (2015)

Copyright: Lionsgate
One of the things that really produced a whole lot of problems for Last Knights is everything about it apart from the film itself. First of all, it has a horrible title, which sounds really similar to First Knight, Last Samurai and anything else that is “last” and includes men wielding some kind of swords. Then, it poster features Clive Oven and Morgan Freeman looking all serious while riders do serious stuff behind (or in front) of them.

Finally, the film’s trailer and synopsis suggest a variation of the 47-Ronin story, which was all done before and never lead to stellar results. When I saw this, I immediately thought that the film is trying to imitate, at least on the surface, those much more famous films, like B-production movies often do.

So, there is no doubt that the casing of this product isn’t much. But, this film is no B-production ripoff. Thanks to the cinematic gods of irony, the movie Last Knights is actually really good. First of all, its dialogs are brilliantly written. The film carries a basic story about a discredited feudal lord whose knights, mainly their commander Raiden, get without a retainer, their jobs, and their honor. Of course, an evil and corrupt official is behind all of this and Raiden does not seem like a guy who lets go of stuff easily.

In spite of the cartoonish plot, Michael Konyves and Dove Sussman wrote the film like a Shakespearian play, minus the archaic language that I always loathed (I’m not a big on any Shakespeare cinematic retelling projects). In Last Knights, everything is deadly serious and larger than a small planet. The plots and schemes are deceptive and cruel while (some) knights are loyal to their grave. Best of all, the plot is placed in an undefined, mostly medieval setting, where names, accents and skin colors are totally mixed up, while the main weapon of choice is a redesigned Katana blade (with a Katan’s tip and a European style straight blade).

All this is used by films director Kazuaki Kiriya as a fantastic setup for an action film, which Last Knights basically is. With an awesome chassis, Kiriya aptly puts in an action fueled engine that runs the entire contraption. The second half of the film, where things really take off, provides an excellent medieval cinematic fun with is both rewarding and engaging. From the start to the finish, its diverse cast of known and slightly less known actors does a solid one for this timeless fantasy.

Like with the movie Chappie, in the case of the Last Knights film I also expected something which I ended up getting, but the packaging and the key ingredients (which I knew and recognized from the start) blended up so well that both films left me very impressed.

10 comments:

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    1. So did I, actually, I was really impressed by some elements.

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