The Last Days of American Crime
5th June 2020 (Netflix Premiere)
In the not-too-distant future, as a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts.
Michael Pitt, Sharlto Copley, Edgar Ramírez
Let’s not beat around the bush here. The Last Days of American Crime is garbage. It’s a complete waste of your time. A LOT of your time too, clocking in at a colossal 2 hours 28 minutes, which is a bigger crime than anything committed in the film itself. Whilst I don’t particularly enjoy ripping apart a film as if it’s an abhorrent creation (Last Days certainly isn’t that), it’s almost impossible for me to recommend this to anyone unless they want to be supremely bored. As such the only way I’m able to get through this review is to try and have as much fun at its expense as possible.
Adapted from a graphic novel by Rick Remender, The Last Days of American Crime is set in a nightmarish American tomorrow where the government plans to release a radical new peace initiative. In plain speaking, this is a radio signal covering the entirety of America that incapacitates anyone thinking of doing something illegal. If this sounds kinda dumb… That’s because it is. And if this sounds strangely relevant under current circumstances… Nah I’m not touching that one with a barge pole, friends. So before this new mind control signal is implemented, discount Gerard Butler and the best new imitation of a plank of wood Graham Bricke (Edgar Ramirez; Gold) and a band of untrustworthy criminal misfits plan to pull off, you’ve guessed it, the last crime in American history! Thrilling(!)
Trying to explain the plot or characters in any kind of detail would be too difficult a task in the case of Last Days. It’s a whole lot of puffed-up macho film posturing and not much else. The most enjoyment I extracted was seeing a character and thinking “huh, that looks a lot like Sharlto Copley” before realising that it WAS Mr. Copley with a very convincing American accent. Last Days peaked right there. Copley (District 9, Chappie) is bizarrely cast, however, in a subplot that literally leads nowhere. I don’t think the film itself knows why he’s there, so heavens know why I should.
Amidst a dizzying amount of plot holes and cliche’s, there are a couple of absurd choices that may seem small scale, but bemused me so much I feel obligated to mention them. They also paint a good picture of the quality of the film as a whole. Firstly when Plankofwood meets with wannabe Drexel from True Romance (Michael Pitt; Ghost in the Shell, Seven Psychopaths), the film deliberately draws attention to the fact that his hideout is rigged with explosive traps. So surely this is a set up for later right, something for the audience to look forward to when a rival attempts to break in? Nope! Never mentioned or seen again. Just another unnecessary minute wasted amidst 140 wasted minutes. Secondly, Plankofwood survives being burned alive whilst tied to a chair in a caravan. How? I cannot say and I saw him do it. The flames inexplicably make a neat little circle around him before someone pulls him out without even a singe. The only explanation I can apply is that Plankofwood and co are members of the magic circle, which is a plot twist I never saw coming in all fairness.
The Last Days of American Crime has next to nothing to offer. It fails to even be so atrocious that it’s fun. The action is dull and surprisingly rare but has no impact despite its gruesomeness. Characters are lifeless vessels or over the top caricatures that make you cringe and the plot is bare-bones but takes 140 minutes to reach a conclusion. It wouldn’t have been satisfying if it paid me.
Sharlto Copley's accent
Erm... It's a functional film I guess
Excruciatingly long with very little going on
Generic and cliche-ridden