Described as “Game of Thrones meets Braveheart”, The Last Warrior rips the gore and violent yet motivational speeches from both (and many more), yet somehow still manages to keep you from getting mad at it.
Set in misc. Eastern Europe during misc. fictional time period, the movie primarily follows Lyutobor, the right hand man of a King, who not only vocally prefers him to his own son, but also has his head up the bum of various other tribes in the area, hoping to extend his reach and ultimately become the ruler of Kiev. Lyutobor’s wife gives birth to a son, and all hell breaks loose. With his family kidnapped by the Wolf tribe, and only promised to be returned when he slaughters his beloved king, he obviously sets about trying to find a way to, er, not do that. Enter Marten, a captured member of the vicious Wolf tribe, who pledges to his gods to help Lyutobor get his babe and baby back without slicing his guts out like he has everyone else he’s come within three feet of.
Along the way they run into obligatory djinn looking tribe, soft arse farmer tribe, blind wizard gatekeepers, and forest people who live in trees and are perpetually covered in mud. They make blood pacts, fight counterfeit versions of The Mountain in a pit, and laugh heartily round night fires whilst drinking grog and that. There’s absolutely nothing here you haven’t seen before, but it stays entertaining enough all the way through to hold your attention. Everyone you hate bites it, and always in a horrendous fashion. The fight scenes are creatively choreographed, and Aleksandr Kuznetsov as Marten the Wolf does a turn worthy of any one of the faux-medieval TV shows you’re currently binging. Hopefully he pops up somewhere else in the future, stabbing people just for the jollies.
There’s a lot of threads to pull at here, but ultimately, The Last Warrior does exactly what it says on the tin. If you’re looking for a super-original and groundbreaking piece of arthouse cinema, you’re in the wrong place. But if you’re fiending for a new series of Game of Thrones, Vikings, or Black Sails, and watching whatever number those 300/Sparta/Clash of the/Wrath of the/Whatever of the Titans movies are up to fill the void, then this’ll do you right on a Saturday night. Just watch it with the subtitles on because a) the Russian language makes everyone instantly sound loads harder, and b) the overload on mood of the voice actors makes you feel like you’re watching the stories parts in-between the levels of an early 2000s fantasy platform game where everyone had a boxy head. You know the ones. So yes, subtitles and realistic expectations. Sophie Francois