A detailed spin-off of the Netflix series that changed historical dramas for the platform.
We review the 2023 Netflix film The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die, which does not contain spoilers.
The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die is the final send-off to a series that has been on Netflix since 2015. The Last Kingdom has been a massive draw for the streaming service for the past five years. The series did come to an end in 2022, and this movie was made for television.
The series was based on Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories series of novels. For fans of historical fiction, this Netflix series was adapted quite well.
Even though it is an extension of the final season (see: The Last Kingdom Season 5 Review), the decision to incorporate so much in a two-hour film was undoubtedly a choice.
Fans wanted another season because there is still so much story left to tell, but this movie was the compromise for everyone.
The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die Review and Plot Summary
In the wake of King Edward’s death, Uhtred of Bebbanburg and his comrades come across a fractured kingdom, hoping to finally unite England. Uhtred is the leader of a people in Northumbria, and his alliance with the royal family of Wessex to the south is tested when newly crowned King Aethelstan comes to power.
His right-hand man advised him to use this particular moment to gain control of Britain.
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The title of the film Seven Kings Must Die is a prophecy that Uhtred’s wife foresees. There are eight kings in total in the kingdom, but she has said that seven will most definitely die and that one will reign.
Instead of a generic fight for the crown, the prophecy adds another layer to the ongoing battle.
Is The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die good or bad?
The Last Kingdom has a reasonably wide fanbase for Netflix, so fans of the series will appreciate the work done in this film. As a standalone film, it is a good story that works in much of what could have been used in an entire season on television.
It’s a period piece that will make fans of the series very happy, and those who appreciate historical fiction feast while watching. It is repetitive as the director Edward Bazalgette and writer Martha Hillier make sure the audience understands that “seven kings must die.”
Is The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die worth watching?
The one downfall of this standalone film is that too much is happening at once. It is plot-heavy, even though there are battles throughout, but it’s a lot to take in. If you’re a fan, you already know the characters and the locations, but if you’re going in blind to this, it’s a bit difficult to follow.
If you enjoy historical fiction and have nothing else to watch this weekend, this will be a nice compact two hours filled with everything you love. However, for those who aren’t fans of the genre or the series, the character dynamics don’t hold this together, and it feels cluttered for most of the film.
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