The Lousy, Last Days of American Crime: Movie Review

Last Days of American Crime
The Lousy, Last Days of American Crime: Movie Review
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Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is the Oakville News publishing assistant and arts reporter. He started with the news in 2016 and now specializes in current and live events, film, theatre and entertainment. He comes from Campbellton, NB and has lived in Oakville more than 20 years. Proud Sheridan grad of Journalism and Performing Arts. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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The Last Days of American Crime is the single new Hollywood release movie this weekend. The Netflix crime film, about the ethics of policing in a dystopia America, couldn’t be more timely. But being so poorly made, it also happens to be the last movie anyone would want to watch.

In an alternate, possibly nearby future, the United States government has concocted a secret plan to end crime altogether. Most of the plot is about three criminals (with never fully defined connections) who try to plan a robbery before crime is impossible.

That plan, by the way? The government will broadcast a signal freezing all brain and motor functions, restraining anyone from knowingly committing an unlawful act. The setup is made more interesting by only the police receiving implants to nullify the signal.

The world has its eyes on the discussion about the ethics of policing the last week more than ever before. This is especially true in the United States, meaning this film had the opportunity to be a constructive, active piece of the conversation.

Instead, it’s a soulless story that’s nearly impossible to follow or find any morals in at all. Director Olivier Megaton and his three screenwriters have crafted one of the grossest and most unpleasant action movies ever made.

Last Days of American Crime is overrun with meanness

It’s unbelievable profane; the abundance of profanity makes it difficult to listen to. Even worse, it cheapens the dialogue to a point where it doesn’t matter what any of the characters are saying.

Meanwhile, there is so much sex, violence and sexual violence it’s difficult to keep watching. These can be justified with a story that’s worth sharing, but Last Days is played only for cheap, gruesome action. But at two and a half hours long, that action is rare and far between.

What’s even going on? Who are all the gangsters? What are all their relationships to one another? You’d think in two and a half hours the filmmakers could find some time to answer these critical questions.

Photo: Netflix

Photo: Netflix

All the intuitive drama and nuance supposedly making the graphic novel so compelling is missing in the bloated movie adaptation. Whole scenes have the dialogue quality of a preteen who was accidentally allowed to watch an R-rated movie. Here’s an example:

“You must’ve done something pretty awful to deserve that, Captain.”
“I made some bad choices.”
“We all make bad choices. I’ve got a to-do list.”

This is nonsensical toughness to an extreme. It’s like Megaton had a checklist of what a ten year old boy would expect to see in an action movie he’s not allowed to watch. Aside from perhaps the gritty beige production design, no aspect was well directed.

It’s not really about policing at all

The cast, too, is forgettable at best. Edgar Ramírez and Anna Brewster are actors with generic, pointless parts to play. But Michael Pitt’s performance as Kevin Cash is especially, comically painful. Every pseudo-masculine monologue of his is somehow written and delivered worse than the last one.

It’s sleazy. It’s boring. But above all else, The Last Days of American Crime is confusing. It’s impossible to know who anyone is or what they want. I wanted to stop watching after the first 25 minutes.

There was a real missed opportunity here to have something that could’ve spoken to the current national conversation. But as one random thug that Bricke (Ramírez) beats up says: “Everything’s so upside down, right?”

Like many politics currently at work are, this Netflix bomb is a misfire that doesn’t know what it’s supposed to be. With any insight and effective producing, it should also be the last film of its kind.

The Last Days of American Crime
2 out of 10

18A, 2hrs 28mins.
Crime Action Thriller.
Directed by Olivier Megaton.
Starring Édgar Ramírez, Anna Brewster, Michael Pitt and Sharlto Copley.
Now available to stream on Netflix for subscribers.



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