What To Watch? Last Knights

Last Knights is a 2015 movie with Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen, based on the forty-seven Ronin story.

Last week we watched only one movie. And it was a good one.

Last Knights

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This is a 2015 movie and, as I just discovered on Wikipedia, based on the forty-seven Ronin historical event. It may explain the Japanese influences you see throughout the movie although the overall feel of it is more a medieval European style. I actually thought the Asian influences were put in by the director, Kazuaki Kiriya. However, the fact that Morgan Freeman plays the honorable nobleman puts the story solidly in the fantasy genre as African-American noblemen weren’t the norm in European nor Japanese history.

Plot and Characters

As mentioned, Morgan Freeman plays Bartok, the nobleman who stands up against a rising tyrant minister, Geza Mott (played by Aksel Hennie), who has won the trust of the emperor (played by Peyman Moaadi). Raiden (played by Clive Owen) is Bartok’s loyal commander and is commanded by Geza Mott, with the approval of the Emperor, to take the life of Bartok as punishment for his treason. From that moment on, Raiden’s spirit spirals downward, forsaking his duty as commander and husband, as closely observed by Geza Mott’s right-hand man Ito (played by Tsuyoshi Ihara).

What I liked

I liked watching Clive Owen. He reminds me of Nicholas Cage, but kinder. He has the face that can be cold and cruel, but also one that can be heartwarming, strong, and passionate. I miss that in Nicholas Cage, who always seems to smirk. Aksel Hennie was well chosen as the paranoid tyrant. He reminds me of Robert Carlyle’s role Durza in Eragon, but this didn’t happen during the movie; he made the role his own. I liked the way the story developed. The desperation, sadness, and despair portrayed by Owen were touchable and heartfelt. There were plot twists I didn’t see coming, which was also a nice surprise. I liked the multi-cultural cast, including Shohrey Aghdashloo, Ayelet Zurer, Ahn Sung-ki, and Cliff Curtis.

What I didn’t like

There wasn’t much I didn’t like. Obviously, there were the WTF moments, like when an archer shoots an arrow through a ring of 10cm diameter at about half a kilometer distance. But otherwise, I have no complaints. The acting was impeccable, the music appropriate and not distracting, and all effects believable. A movie you can get totally absorbed in.

Summary

This is an American movie (i.e. with a happy ending) full of action, suspense, and drama. Not one for the very young as topics of alcoholism, prostitution, and marital problems are touched upon, but worldly teenagers could watch this without a problem. I recommend watching it and promise you some good entertainment.

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Not as good as expected…

Score: 6/10

– Spoiler Alert! –

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Last Sunday we saw Now You See Me 2. It was a hard act to follow in the footsteps of the first movie and, although better than Independence Day – Resurgence, they didn’t make it.

The cast was good, like it was the first movie. They swapped Isla Fisher for Lizzy Caplan though and added Daniel Radcliffe. I like Daniel Radcliffe. Yes, he will always be Harry Potter to me, but I like how he just moved on from that franchise and made a career of his own. I could see how they cast him as a son of Michael Caine and I wouldn’t be surprised if one day Radcliffe’s name would be as big as Caine’s.

Even though the cast was great, the double role of Woody Harrelson a fun add, there was something missing in this movie. There was a scene where they had to smuggle a card-like chip out of a secure area and the card flips and tricks were so over the top that it felt rather overplayed. Why not just stick the card under a shoe and be done with it? There were many more instances where you would think ‘why’ and ‘where did that come from?’ The twists and turns were just a few too many. Not that you would lose the plot, but it was just too unreal, drawing out too many ‘yeah, right’ moments.

Music: good, but not spectacular, suspense: too unreal, drama: not real enough (apart from Radcliffe’s acting), flow: non-existent, clothing: too unbelievable (the suit changes were fun, but totally unbelievable).

All in all I wouldn’t shed a tear if I never saw this movie again. I give it a 6/10, just because I like Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Daniel Radcliffe.