It’s been a while since we’ve seen Clive Owen in this medievil getup. Has it really been ten years since King Arthur? That wasn’t such a bad movie, after all it was directed by Antoine Fuqua, who knows what he’s doing. It had inaccuracies and a certain corny tone to it, but at least it had energy in it. Which is more than can be said for Last Knights, which at 115 minutes, quickly becomes a drag even though there’s a lot of good stuff on display. I suppose there’s a reason it didn’t go theatrical.
So anyway, this movie is set in fictional historical times. Certainly chasing the Game of Thrones theme. Clive Owen is Raiden, a bodyguard and military commander for Morgan Freeman, playing Bartok, a disgruntled lord summoned to the empire’s capital to be shaken down by the powers that be. When he refuses he is executed and his personal military troop is forcibly disbanded, the leader Clive Owen permitted to live lest his execution is a step too far and provokes a rebellion. Then, the powers that be wait to see if Clive Owen and his troops start some type of insurgency.
And the wait is long. Especially for anyone watching the movie, especially in the middle, where the movie dies. By the time the so-so finale comes about, nobody will care. The reason, for me at least, the whole thing is just so fucking empty. You have a medievil fictional empire and they don’t even tell you where it’s located, or how it came about or who its enemies are. You’re supposed to just drink in the copious amounts of CGI and, you know, wait around ’till the not so fantastic twists develop.
By the way, did I mention that the editing in the battle scenes makes you want to skip them? I hate that. Please just stop fucking up coherence in movies!
I will say a few things in this movie’s defence. There are some truly epic sets in there, which are too grand and realistic to be CGI, I’m guessing it was filmed in some fortresses and castles in Eastern Europe, this often gives the movie a $100 million dollar look, betrayed though by over ambitious CGI for the external shots. Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen also put in strong performances, I mean at the start they’re acting their socks off so even though it appears boring, you think, shit, if they’re acting like this it must mean that it gets better somewhere down the line.
Nah, it doesn’t. It even gets slightly depressing, so avoid it pretty much.