Director: Kazuaki Kiriya Starring: Clive Owen, Morgan Freeman & Aksel Hennie Synopsis: A fallen warrior rises against a corrupt and sadistic ruler to avenge his dishonored master Rating: 15 Run time: 115 minutes Release date: 29 June (DVD & Blu-Ray)
For those of you that regularly read this site, you will no doubt have realised that many of the films being reviewed lately are questionable in their quality. Sure, there have been some nuggets such as Predestination and A Most Violent Year, but others have fallen into the bracket of one to two star films. Many questions have been asked about these films, like; how is such talent starring in these films, who’s funding them, why are they being made and why do I keep saying yes I’ll review that?
Last Knights is a film full of clichés. A wise old leader (Morgan Freeman) watches over his kingdom, while trying to avoid the advances of power hungry minster Geza Mott (Aksel Hennie). His second in command Raiden (Clive Owen) sulks a lot and moans about the burden of power. Raiden leads an army of strong, loyal men who only ever speak in a strictly monotone fashion. The ruling empire has become incredibly corrupt, and even the honest men are not adverse to making or taking a bribe if needs be.
There’s a sense very early on in Last Knights that we have seen this all before. Game of Thrones, The Lord of The Rings and The Musketeers have all done what Last Knights is attempting. The difference however, is that these films and TV shows have a sense of fun and adventure while being compelling viewing. Last Knights suffers in the fact that it tries to borrow the things that make other examples of the genre successful, but fails to make an identity for itself. And with that, it fails to be interesting and then fails to engage.
The story trudges along at an elaborate pace, with the director taking his time with every single moment. This would be forgivable if we were watching a fantasy epic in the vein of middle earth, but the laborious tempo ensures that the audience feels every painful minute. This is further compounded through uncomfortable dialogue and routine action scenes. Little effort was seemingly put into the fight scenes, meaning the one element that could have saved the film is as dull as Clive Owen’s face after 10 pints.
At no one point in Last Knights is there any perpetual sense of excitement or a desire to find out what happens next. While it was never going to be an edge of your seat ride, it is still unfortunate that Last Knights is so utterly boring. Bad films can be fun in their own way, and even a bad film can have some qualities to make it entertaining, even if that is just laughing at how awful it was, but what to do when a film is boring? The desire can be to switch off, do something more interesting, watch paint dry perhaps?
With a film that has such quality in its cast, it really is a shame that more could not have been made of their talents. It seems that everyone is content to flit around on autopilot, barely registering on the screen. Actors such as Clive Owen, Morgan Freeman and Cliff Curtis are as talented as anyone working in Hollywood today, but their presence here goes largely unnoticed while the film passes them, and the audience, by. It’s all such a waste, and does indeed make you wonder why they signed up for this. Do yourself a favour and keep walking when you see this on the shelf.
In summary: A colossal waste of time, not even worth a rental.