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Birkebeinerne
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Last King More at IMDbPro »Birkebeinerne (original title)

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27 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful Snowy Ax-Wielding Fun

10/10
Author: MeetJohnSmith
18 June 2016

This is a fun action movie (sword and romance) set in really beautiful winter scenery. If you like Game of Thrones, but want more snow with your ax wielding heroes, this is a great film for you.

I saw it in a theater, and the audience was completely in to it; it's been awhile since I've been a theater where audience members shout out encouragement to characters on screen, and it's so fun to have a movie where the audience cheers at key points.

I can't remember a film in which infants were used so effectively; you truly have a concern for the characters' safety.

The casting of our four heroes (Thor, Skeivie, Inga and Haakon) is perfect. Skeivie looks like they decided to cast Clay Matthews of the Green Bay packers as a heroic viking warrior.

I also found the particularly compelling the fight scenes. They obviously didn't have a budget that would enable them to have a cast of thousands for their battle scenes, and somehow that gives greater believe-ability to the fight scenes. Our main heroes don't (implausibly) kill hundreds of faceless stuntmen (as is so often the case in action movies and superhero movies these days). Instead, our heroes are faced with having to take on specific opponents who seem truly intent on our heroes' demise/destruction.

Slightly implausible is the topography displayed in the movie -- truly beautiful, but who knew that 99% of the topography in Norway is downhill? (I know, downhill chase scenes on skis are more compelling than uphill chase scenes on skis).

The only slight weak point I would identify is the sub-story line about the young princess. OK, we know that story line is useful to show our villain is a truly bad guy, but our princess looks like she was recruited from a local mall, and told "here, put on this dress and look scared"; they didn't give her much to work with, and it shows. But one could say the same about young female characters in some of the Star War movies.

Some may find annoying too that there are little story lines that appear, and then are left unresolved, like what happens to the evil queen after she exits? Because of this, on occasion, one feels like the producer is setting up plot lines for future sequels. Hopefully that's true, and a sequel is coming! I'd buy tickets immediately!

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

All it needs is a better story

6/10
Author: peefyn from Norway
17 September 2016

As a Norwegian, I appreciate that we are starting to make movies that on a technical level are as good as this. The costumes, locations, music, special effects and acting were all on a professional level, just as something you would expect from any other European movie.

The setting was also good. Norway should take advantage of its history, and make the kind of movies that it would not make sense for other countries to make. Speaking as a Norwegian, there are too few good cross-country skiing action sequences out there.

The story that this is based on is interesting, but the movie's flaw is that it never quite managed to capture the drama inherit in the story it tells. I found myself not caring much about the scenes with the scheming and plotting, the villain and his people. All of that. In fact, that most interesting part of the movie was probably the "Two men and a baby"-aspect of it, which at times were very enjoyable.

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21 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful and entertaining, but a bit genre confused film

7/10
Author: OJT from Norway
12 February 2016

The Last King (Birkebeinerne) is the fourth Northern from acclaimed Norweiagn Oscar nominee director Nils Gaup, which was Ocar nominated for his first inside just this genre, Pathfinder (Veiviseren). And this film has many parts which resembles just that film.

This is also based on an ancient old story. Back in 1206, when there was a civil war raging Norway, with basis in religion and country over the wast country in Nothern Europe. we're told the fight for the crown of the Norwegian empire. Also Pathfinder was based on a long gone true story, at least as a story told through generations.

I would think Nils Gaup should be able to make a rally good movie out of this, like he did with both Pathfinder and the brilliant The Kautokeino Rebellion. I'm afraid this film is a bit closer to the flop Tashunga. all of which were Northers, with stories i snowy landscapes.

The film wants to entertain. maybe a bit too much. The audience did laugh,several times, but the excitement and the funny parts are not that well kept together as I would like. Still this film has many interesting and worthy parts, making this an overall OK entertainment, while the true story is well kept in story telling.

This film is very beautiful, with awesome nature and winter filming. It's also fantastic to see the skiers do their part. The film functions to a great part, though there are some fighting scenes which I don't think works that well, I also found some of the dialog a bit stale, but that won't bother most watchers around the world. a couple of actors also seems like they have trouble, like Kristofer Hivju, who really uses his big eyes too much, and the young princess is also less believable, I'm afraid.

Still, this story functions enough for a 6/10.

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17 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Very Entertaining! Stays true to history, with a few minor changes

10/10
Author: Ingvald Pettersen from Norway
21 February 2016

As I am a huge fan of my country's history, this film was right up my alley. All the historical elements of the film are excellently portrayed. A few historical facts were changed a little, but not so much that it ruins the film. The changes work. The more fictional parts of the film are also very good.

The acting is also very nice. Main actors Kristofer Hivju and Jakob Oftebro have a lot of good chemistry and work well off each other. The other actors do a good job too.

The cinematography is wonderful. Beautiful shots of the Norwegian wilderness make this a spectacular viewing experience.

All in all, this film is excellent!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Heir of the Vikings

7/10
Author: kosmasp
25 December 2016

I just recently watched an adaptation of a Jussi Adler-Olsen novel and some of the actors involved in that are in this one too. Funny to see them in such different roles in short amount of time. But it works and goes to show you that there are good actors all over the world (something that cannot be stressed enough, which is why I personally do watch as many and different movies as possible).

But I'm probably preaching to the choir here. It's obvious that you're at least showing some interest already. And if you like movies with Vikings and stories where good and bad collide and all that juicy stuff, with some nice fighting choreography as well, than look no further. You've found what you're looking for. It may seem a bit confused at times, but it does have a clear goal in the end ... and it's really well made

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Birkebeinerne: an instructive Norwegian Tale.

6/10
Author: niutta-enrico from Italy
4 August 2016

I watched it out of curiosity because I never heard the term 'Birkerbeiner' before (the beautiful tale of Håkon Håkonsson hasn't reached the bulk of ignorant Mediterranean men yet) and I am more than happy to have done it.

It wasn't really a memorable film, however: many scenes lacked realism and the plot was oversimplified, on my humble opinion. Which was something I didn't expect given the huge talent of Scandinavian screenwriters (e.g. Anders Thomas Jensen or Kim Fupz Aakeson, just to quote two of my favorites...).

In any case it was instructive and I'm sure that many people from all around the world will enjoy the story and recognize many actors such as Kristofer Hivju (from 'Game of Thrones'), Nikolaj Lie Kaas (from 'Child 44'), Thorbjørn Harr (from 'Vikings') or Pål Sverre Hagen, (from 'Kon Tiki') who I'm sure are by now familiar faces to international audiences.

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10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Birkebeinerne is technical wonder from Norway but its writing is pretty bad.

5/10
Author: shobanchittuprolu from India
28 September 2016

Birkebeinerne (2016): When I watched trailer of this film,I got absolutely stunned with its making.I never expected such high standards from a Norwegian movie.But when I watched its movie I realized that the standards are confined only to technical purpose but not on writing.

Plot: Based on real Birkebeiner's(A rebellious group) story,it follows journey of two Birkebeiners Skjervald (Jakob Oftebro) and Torstein (Kristofer Hivju) along with a months old King's illegitimate son child Hakon Håkonssonwho has grave danger from those who want to claim throne.So how did they succeed in saving the child and making him king forms rest of the adventure.

Plus Points:

1)Cinematography: Birkebeinerne has one of the most brilliant cinematography for a foreign film.The way they showed the beauty of mountains with snow is breathtaking.

2)Art direction: Though its largely inspired from Game of Thrones,its commendable job for Norwegian work.This work is beyond their range.Loved their work

Minus Points: Though this movie is technically strong,its writing failed terribly.There is literally no interesting movie in this boredom.Though it has some decent plot,its execution part is bad.

So,Birkebeinerne is technical wonder from Norway but its writing is pretty bad.

My rating 4.75/10

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A pretty decent & entertaining movie

7/10
Author: jimspaid-86934 from Cleveland, Ohio
16 January 2017

I always enjoy historical-type movies. This one is no exception. I did stream with English 5.1 instead of subtitles, but it really didn't take away from the movie. The film depicted this era of Norway as quite brutal. I'm sure it was. Kings & heirs, civil war, brutality. It was all here. I don't judge acting so I really didn't notice if it was not perfect. I liked the plot & the movie flowed smoothly enough to follow without questioning what was happening. The scenery, well, when it wasn't overcast or snowing, was great. Lots of ski action too. Some of the scenes caught me off guard but I won't say which ones. There may have been a few hiccups, but overall I found it to be a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

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