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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Last Warrior


Starring: Aleksey Faddeev and Aleksandr Kuznetsov
Distributor: 4Digital Media
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 18
Release Date: 20 August 2018

Lutobor is loyal to his king and, a soon to be father, his world is one of violence where strength is the only real power. When his wife and new son are kidnapped, Lutobor must rely on the help of his Scythian prisoner to travel deep into the wilds to confront the last of the Scythian peoples...

The Last Warrior (2018. 1 hr, 40 min, 14 sec) is a Russian fantasy drama, directed by Rustam Mosafir who co-wrote the script with Vadim Golovanov. The director even pops up in the film playing Kumay.

The beginning of the film is a bit disorientating, as to both time and place. Lutobor is a Christian, but this is only one of the religions in the show so I’m guessing were talking about the first ten centuries. Also, as it involves the Scythians, who were a loose confederation of nomad tribes, were probably looking north of the black sea, which would put them in close enough range of the Mongolians, the only other recognisable tribe in the film. It's all a bit vague. Add to that some elements of fantasy mysticism and we just must accept that this is probably not supposed to be any particular place or time, but the usual faux medieval setting which fantasy has an over reliance on.

The film has a couple of plots going on. First there is the note pinned to Lutobor's door when his wife and child are kidnapped. It offers to return them both if Lutobor kills the king, but who left the note? This mystery sets up the road trip with Lutobor (Aleksey Faddeev) and Marten (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) trying to reach Martens people who turn out to be the kidnappers.

Along the way they are caught by the forest people. This is pretty much a rerun of Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome (1985) complete with a mad midget in charge. Its too similar for the Mad Max vs. Blaster scene not to have been influenced. Here Lutobor also discovers that he has a bear in him. Well, not literally in him. That would be a different type of film and probably illegally painful. No, he has the spirit of a bear which when called upon turns him into a good rendition of Wolverine, claws and all.

One of the things I particularly liked about the script was its ability to surprise, just when you think you know where the film is going, it pulls the rug up and changes direction. The acting seems fine, but the script doesn’t really stretch the actors above the need for physicality in the numerous and bloody fights. Aleksandr Kuznetsov (Marten) stands out in his role and is quite mesmerising on the screen.

The PR company only supplied the English dub version of the film on a screener disc, which is a shame as I would have like to have been able to judge the original Russian audio track. As it is, the dub is not at all bad, especially Marten’s which was very effective, however there is the odd occasion when it descends into Monty Python territory, most notable is near the end when the Mongols ride off. The film is adequately shot, although I found the overuse of a hand-held camera was distracting at times.

Once you get past the disorientation of the film's start, the story settles down into a not too bad revenge/road trip movie, certainly worth a once only watch.


Charles Packer

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