Last King – ★ ★ ★ ½ DVD Review
Just a quick timeframe update, I’m now only 8 movies behind in my reviews, and am finally reviewing things I watched over the Victoria Day long weekend! Why is this significant? The films I’m talking about are still fairly fresh in my mind and I’m only a month behind! Alright, for some reason I got on a little foreign film kick which was quite enjoyable. I’d seen the trailer for The Last King on several of the movies I rented and was quite intrigued.
In the year 1206 the throne of Norway is in turmoil. King Håkon is murdered by the queen who is in league with Gisle (Pål Sverre Hagen) who clearly wants the throne for himself, but is also in league with the church, who wish to convert the country to Christianity. In order to seize power he dispatches a team of Baglers to kill the King’s illegitimate infant son, Håkon Håkonsson who is being guarded in secrecy by two members of the Birkebeiner. The Baglers (or Bagli Party) was a faction during the Norwegian Civil Wars made up principally of the Norwegian aristocracy, clergy and merchants. The Birkebeiner were another key group and at this time supported the King. Norwegian history credits the Birkebeiners’ bravery with preserving the life of the boy who later became King Haakon Haakonsson IV, who ended the civil wars in 1240 and forever changed Northern Europe’s history through his reign.
Skjervald (Jakob Oftebro) and Torstein (Kristofer Hivju) race through the snow, the mountains and the forests to get the baby to the seat of the Norwegian throne as they’re hunted by the Baglers, stopping briefly at farms and homes that are loyal to them. Along the way, we see Gisle jail his own brother Inge (Thorbjørn Harr), accusing him of conspiring for the throne and killing the King, and to cement his own path he conspires to marry Princess Kristin (Thea Sofie Loch Næss). The political scheming and intrigue are probably not much different from what they are now nearly 800 years later, just that they skied a lot more back then…
The camera work was excellent, and director Nils Gaup finely balanced the action and the drama of the moment with light humour. The action was great, and the scenery was beautiful. The fights were well choreographed, and the ski chases were very exciting, all making for a very enjoyable medieval action movie. What makes this even more impressive is that it is actually based on a true story. I’m certain the story was embellished for the screen, and what we saw was not 100% historically accurate, but I still enjoyed it.
Bottom Line: There sure were a lot of actors from In Order of Disappearance in The Last King…
Posted on 17-06-17, in 3.5 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged Birkerbeiner, Jakob Oftebro, Kristofer Hivju, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Nils Gaup, Pål Sverre Hagen, Thea Sofie Loch Næss, Torkel Dommersnes Soldal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.