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The Last Minute (2001)


Stephen Norrington directs this movie about Billy Byrnes rise and fall from grace as a great… Director… Photographer… Philosopher… Fraked if I know. This whole movie goes by talking about how great he is then how he lost it. What did he do that was so great? Dunno. What did he do that was so bad? Dunno. What does he do? He, look at that, a resounding DUNNO!

The movie starts off with Billy (Max Beesley) talking into the camera about this thing that he knows that will blow your mind. Of course he takes forever to get to the point and it utterly bores. Just because you have a quick talking Brit that has spikey hair talking into the camera doesn’t mean an audience will be drawn in. He’s not that charismatic and what he has to say, frankly, is not all that mind-blowing.

When he’s on top he has the little party lifestyle with time lapsed photography to show how flashy great it is. He runs into a bunch of strange characters that are so uber-cool they are LAME. Then there is Percy (Jason Isaacs). I don’t know what the hell happened here. He’s a singer, he’s a mob man, he’s a WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THIS GUY???? Granted, Jason is a cool guy. The mess of an attempt at wit written for this character is pulled off only because it’s Isaacs playing the role. He plays villainous parts well, but this doesn’t really need discussion.

Eventually, inevitably, he falls from grace. The movie doesn’t change in style except now there is no direction. There are no character archs that get resolved in the end. There are no changes in characters from where they are when they first appear. The friends that he has are uninteresting and I’m not sure where the motivations for the ending come from. On the whole the story is nonsensical, confusing and worst of all barely entertaining.

Udo Kier and Stephen Dorff make appearances in this film. Udo plays an energetic photographer who’s, damn near every word is, and drowned out by the blaring music. Udo’s always fun to watch, but it would have been cool to have him in a more significant role. Oh, hey… Stephen Dorff was in it too. Wait. Stephen Dorff was in this? Where? Did I nod off or was his performance so mind-blowingly amazing that I didn’t even know he was there… Yeah, probably nodded off during one of the long philosophical parts where Billy talks about the length of life and how the only thing that counts is the last oh, who am I kidding. I don’t really give a shit.

There is a homeless girl that helps Billy when he’s down and becomes something closer… I guess. There is an old thespian with a feud that doesn’t make sense until the very end, but it could have been tied together a little better. There are a few random, but obvious Peter Pan references, but it makes no sense to have these in there in the first place. There are the lost boys, which are the only things that are a little fun in this movie except…

There is a scene near the end that I can’t tell whether it’s pure genius or one of the worst scenes ever. It’s a small musical number that starts unexpectedly by none other than Percy, Jason Isaacs character.

Finally, I have to point out that this movie won a Director’s Week Special Award. Sounds like a bull crap award and it must be since it was given to such an awful entry in film. The only thing I can say about Stephen Norrington’s efforts here is that this was an experiment. It failed in all but two shots. Norrington wrote this Magnum Opus, so I can’t give him all that much credit period.

Now that Norrington has decided to return to cinema he has to work on proving that my little theory of him having some talent that just needs the right outlet was right and that I’m not a total moron (not I said total moron, so save the comments on this part of the review).

Below is a trailer, which I actually found entertaining in that "is it going to be good or will it suck" way.

Source of the Bitter: JAS

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
Alys (not verified) on Fri, 12/04/2009 - 9:23pm

It's Billy, not David. Not quite sure where you got that.

Personally I think that this film is probably one of the better ones by Norrington, as I find most of his other stuff is pretty crap.

JAS on Sat, 12/05/2009 - 1:26am

Good catch! I'm not totally sure what happened there. :)

This was written in our pre-editor days - even though that is not much of an excuse.

I wasn't totally sold on this movie. I wanted to like it based on its trailer, but in the end found it pretty disappointing.

Thanks for reading!

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