"Fighting Medieval Corruption"
What You Need To Know:
LAST KNIGHTS has a compelling story, with some elaborate sets that give the movie plenty of visual atmosphere. Clive Owen as the knight, Morgan Freeman as the master and the rest of the cast do a good job with some dramatic dialogue. LAST KNIGHTS has a light moral worldview supporting duty, honor and justice, but there is no reference to God or religion. Extreme caution is also advised for some bloody violence, innuendo and drunkenness.
(B, H, L, VVV, S, AA, MM) Light moral worldview about duty, honor, justice as hero fights corruption in a fictional kingdom, but in a humanist setting with no reference to religion or God though not Anti-God content, either; one obscenity; strong and brief very strong violence includes fighting, arrows kill men, swords, and a couple decapitations, plus it’s implied the villain beats his wife; a scene of implied adultery and prostitution turns out to be faked for a spy’s benefit; no nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; no smoking or drugs; and, bribery, corruption.
LAST KNIGHTS is a medieval adventure story set in a fictional time in a fictional world about a knight out to revenge his murdered master, who rebelled and spoke out against corruption in the emperor’s court. It’s an interesting, compelling adventure, but its positive elements are only light overall, and there’s some very strong violence as the hero and his fellow knights overturn the powerful villain in the emperor’s court, who was the source of the worst corruption.
The movie opens with Raiden’s master Lord Bartok (played by Morgan Freeman) being ordered to the empire’s capital to pay homage to the Emperor’s new minister, a corrupt man by the name of Gezza (“Geeza”) Mott. Mott has instituted a system of bribes for noblemen like Bartok, but Bartok chafes at the system. Instead of a nice bribe, Bartok arrives at the capitol with an empty box for Mott, which, of course, infuriates Mott.
Bartok is put on trial for treason. Instead of apologizing, he condemns the Emperor’s new minister and his corruption, adding that the corruption taints the whole empire, including the Emperor. The Emperor orders Raiden himself to behead Bartok right then and there, and all of Bartok’s property is seized. Raiden hesitates, but Bartok orders him not to rebel against the order.
Now without a master, Raiden is devastated by what happened. Though he’s married to a wonderful, loyal woman, he takes up gambling, drinking and womanizing – the things he did in the past before Bartok pulled him out of the gutter. Or, so everyone, including his wife, thinks. Raiden’s actions, however, are all part of a plot with Bartok’s other former knights to fool Mott and the Emperor, infiltrate Mott’s reinforced castle, separate Mott from his men, and mete out justice to Mott. Will Raiden and the knights succeed in their plan?
LAST KNIGHTS has a straightforward, compelling story, with some elaborate sets that give the movie plenty of visual atmosphere. Clive Owen as Raiden, Morgan Freeman as Bartok and the rest of the cast do a good job keeping viewers focused on the characters and how their actions fit into the story. The plot to infiltrate Mott’s castle seems far-fetched, but it plays out in an exciting way that holds your attention. The audience wants Raiden and his friends to succeed.
Though LAST KNIGHTS is something of a morality tale, it’s set in a strange medieval world that’s become corrupt. So, it’s a story about duty, honor, loyalty, and justice. That said, there are plenty of swords and arrows, including some very strong violence such as decapitations. Also, although Raiden really isn’t cheating on his wife, there are a couple scenes suggesting that’s what he’s doing, because the villain has sent spies to track Raiden’s every movement. It’s clever how the filmmakers reveal the opposite, but there’s some brief salacious innuendo before that happens.
All in all, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for LAST KNIGHTS.