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Film / Last Knights

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Honor is something that all men are born with, It can not be taken from you, nor can it be granted... It must only not be lost.. - Raiden

A 2015 Epic Medieval Action Drama movie by Kazuaki Kiriya and starring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman, it's an adaptation of the Japanese legend of The 47 Ronin, only replacing the samurai with European-styled knights.

It takes place in a medieval post-apocalyptic setting where mankind is united under the iron rule of a massive multicultural empire and the story focuses on the remnants of an ancient order of knights led by Commander Raiden who serve a nobleman named Lord Bartok. When The Emperor's corrupt minister Geza Mott accuses Bartok of treason, he is sentenced to death with Raiden being forced to execute him no less, his domain is split and his entire clan scattered.

One year passes and Raiden has fallen into the gutter, turning into a drunk who abandoned his sword and is hated by his wife and his own men for killing their master. But this is all an act: him and his men are actually plotting revenge against Geza and avenge the dishonoring of Bartok's clan.

Not to be confused with Transformers: The Last Knight.


  • Actor Allusion: In the Japanese dub, Raiden is voiced by Kenyuu Horiuchi, who already voiced another, more famous Raiden.
  • Aerith and Bob: We have surreal names like Raiden, Geza and Bartok alongside Hannah, Naomi and Maria. And that is not even counting the foreign ones like Auguste, Ito and Cortez.
  • The Alcoholic: Raiden's backstory was that he was a violent drunken thug before being taken in by Lord Bartok. After Bartok dies, he starts drinking again as a way to throw off Geza Mott's spies watching him.
  • After the End: The setting appears to be post-apocalyptic according to the narration, which mentions a series of wars has destroyed civilization as we know it leaving it vulnerable to The Empire's influence.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Geza is the most prominent example for his sadism and cruelty, and to a lesser extent, the Emperor as well (he is cold and harsh, but still capable of reason).
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Geza after Raiden is finally killed. While no one is particularly sad to see him dead given he treated everyone around him like crap and was considered an general annoyance by his peers and even his boss, this is somewhat mitigated by the Emperor insisting that his killers be punished for defying his authority, but is convinced by the nobles to spare them (except Raiden) because he'd trigger a rebellion by turning them into martyrs.
    • To a lesser extent, Lilly's pimp is killed offscreen by Raiden shortly after he already dealt with Geza.
  • Best Served Cold: It takes one year and a lot of planning and diversion, but the knights plan to restore their clan's honor by assassinating Geza.
  • Big Bad: Geza Mott triggers the plot when he arranges Lord Bartok to be accused of treason for attacking him in self-defense, seizes his domain and sends Bartok's family, servants and knights into exile.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The knights have fulfilled their quest, avenged Bartok's death with Raiden personally beheading Geza which earns them the people's approval, and restored his clan's honor. Knowing that they could become martyrs, the Emperor decides to not punish them for killing his chancellor but still has Raiden executed at the end.
  • Damsel in Distress: Lilly after her father is killed.
  • Domestic Abuse: Geza mistreats his wife and it's show that he occasionally hits her. This is enough reason for her father Auguste to betray him and conspire with Raiden to bring his downfall.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After being forced to kill Bartok, Raiden hits the bottle so hard that he sells his own sword for beer, which is considered a severe act showing he has forsaken his honor as a knight. It's all an act to get Geza to think he is harmless.
  • The Emperor: The absolute ruler of the world is something of an harsh autocrat, but still somewhat reasonable. He chides Geza for his paranoia and later is convinced to spare the knights out of pure pragmatism to not alienate public support.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Ito is very disgusted with the thuggish behavior of his boss' soldiers that he kills one of them for unnecessary brutality.
    • The Emperor is an autocratic ruler who expects his will to be obeyed at all costs, but even he doesn't seem fond of Geza, and if anything is exasperated by him specially due to his paranoia towards Raiden which he finds excessive. Even so, he orders Raiden's execution since an attack on his minister constitutes as an attack on the Emperor himself.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Bartok's death; Raiden is forced to decapitate him, but the camera cuts away before the blade can even descend. Raiden's execution is also played this way.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • When brought before his treason trial, Bartok knows his fate and already accepts it, admitting in front of everyone that his only regret is that he didn't succeed in killing Geza Mott. Considering that he was already dying of his pre-existing decease, he made peace with himself and preferred to die this way rather than wait it out.
    • Raiden himself qualifies at the end of the movie.
  • Feudal Future: The story takes place in a uncertain future that is dominated by a empire that functions like a typical medieval European setting, with an absolute monarch, aristocrats and knights abound.
  • Happily Married: Raiden and Naomi at the start of the movie before things really go south.
  • Hated by All: Geza is loathed by the population at large whereas the nobility doesn't particularly care for him, even the Emperor himself. The only friend he has is his father-in-law Auguste, and even then he treats him like a blackmail victim and ends up losing himhe loses him when he finds Geza has been abusing Hannahh. When Raiden kills him, the people approve it so much that the ruling council opts to not punish the knights out of fear of turning them into martyrs.
  • Heir Club for Men: Even though Bartok has a biological daughter, he intended to pass his domain to Raiden, who is merely his knight whom he has no relation to.
  • The Hero Dies: Given the legend that inspired the plot, this is expected but it comes with a twist: all surviving knights are spared and only Raiden is executed by the authorities given his position as the leader and being the most renowned warrior among them, as most of the other knights are anonymous.
  • Honor Before Reason: The reason Raiden and his men choose to seek revenge against Giza is for their fallen masters honour.
    • This is why Ito continues to protect Giza despite seeing how depraved, selfish and cruel he is.
  • Kick the Dog: As if forcing Raiden to personally execute his master wasn't enough, Geza abuses his wife and arranges for Bartok's daughter to become a prostitute.
    • Geza even has a little lapdog which he kills to demonstrate his depravity.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: In an attempt to emulate the samurai bushido's code, the knights display the same characteristics usually associated with chivalry like undying loyalty to their lord.
  • Mexican Standoff: Occurs when Bartok draws a sword on Geza, Ito draws a sword on Bartok, and Raiden draws his sword on Ito.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: Geza's retainer and bodyguard Ito is a lot more honorable than his master, executing a mook for being needlessly cruel while displacing Bartok's property.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: The only times Geza gets physical is to physically abuse his wife Hannah or attack Lord Bartok (an dying old man). When Raiden finally confronts him, he tries to stand up against him only to be beheaded in one stroke.
  • Number Two: Lieutenant Cortez is Raiden's second-in-command and eventual successor.
  • The Order: Bartok's knights used to belong to one, but after the Empire conquered the world they became it's vassals. While they still cling to their tradition, it's noted their values eroded since they were dominated by the Empire.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Or rather, despair. Raiden merely pretends that he crossed the Despair Event Horizon with Bartok's death that he has nothing else to live for. This is a diversion to throw Geza's attention off so he can carry out his revenge much like the ronin ring-leader Oishi Kuranosuke Yoshio did in real life.
  • Off with His Head!: Bartok's death by Raiden's hands. This is also the manner that Geza and later, Raiden, die as well.
  • Papa Wolf: Auguste becomes so distressed to see that Geza physically abuses his daughter Hannah that he sides with Raiden and helps him in his plan.
  • Parental Abandonment: Raiden's family died of fever when he was very young, leaving him alone in the world.
  • Properly Paranoid: Geza is certain that Raiden still represents a threat to him and arranges extra protection for him all the time and Raiden to be spied at all times. It reaches a point even the Emperor himself finds it excessive. He is right to be afraid since Raiden is plotting revenge and the moment Geza is convinced he is no longer a threat, he begins to set his plan in motion.
  • Race Lift: The original incident that inspired the movie took place in Japan where all participants were obviously Japanese. Here, the characters are played by a diverse cast of backgrounds including Anglos, African-Americans, Iranians, Israelis and South Koreans with no Japanese in sight. It is mentioned that humanity was united under the Empire so it makes sense the characters are diverse.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: It's almost beat by beat the tale of the 47 Ronin with the setting and characters radically changed, down to the leader faking depression and madness to make his enemies underestimate him to his plan.
  • The Rest Shall Pass: Raiden is executed in his men's stead.
  • Red Right Hand: Even a year later, the cut on Geza Mott's hand that Bartok gave him hasn't healed.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: It's this trope that sets the plot in motion: Being an Imperial representative, Geza flaunts his position to be corrupt as possible to gain influence and territory, and anyone who so much lifts a finger on him is given practically a death sentence (since any trial on their behalf will be a sham). Wanting to get a bribe from Bartok and attacking him when he refuses, Geza accuses him of treason when he fights back in self-defense, resulting in his death.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Unlike the historical ronin who were ordered to commit sepukku, the surviving knights are spared by the Emperor because he knows he will turn them into martyrs if they are executed. Raiden requests to be executed in their behalf though.
  • Snow Means Death: Raiden's public execution takes place in a snowy field.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Geza is a domestic abuser that regularly beats Hannah, leaving nasty bruises in her face.
    • Bartok's daughter Lilly is made into a prostitute and also beaten up by her pimp.
  • You Are in Command Now: Raiden appoints Cortez to replace him as leader of their order when he is sentenced to death at the end of the movie.