All films, even bad ones, make some sort of case for their own existence – for the story they want to tell. It’s bewildering as to why Last Call was even made. Perhaps the movie is somehow the end result of an elaborate tax-evasion scheme? Perhaps everyone involved lost a bet?
Jeremy Piven is Mick, who thought he left the nondescript suburbs of Philadelphia behind, having moved to the city and made a name for himself as a real-estate developer. After the death of his mother, he ceremoniously returns home (which appears to have taken a grand total of five minutes driving). Will he work with his father and brother to resurrect the family pub to its former glory, or will he push ahead with his plans to build a new casino which threatens to strip the neighbourhood of its local colour?
It’s actually an achievement to have produced a feature that manages to be so clumsy on every conceivable level. Some of the choices are simply baffling. Jeremy Piven (in his mid 50s) plays a man in his f40s, with the great Cathy Moriarty (a mere five years older than Jeremy), playing the grandmother of his love interest, who appears to actually be in her 40s. Incidentally, Moriarty plays her role with a vague Eastern European accent, which she seems to forget about halfway through a sentence, before remembering. The performances range from lazy to just plain bad.
The end result is worryingly amateurish, with random profanities seemingly intended as jokes. The protagonist is repeatedly accused of suffering from erectile dysfunction. Apparently this is hilarious. Unsurprisingly, there’s also (lethargic) homophobia and transphobia, but this is the work simply trying to be edgy. However, by this point anyone still watching will be hoping that the flick falls off the edge of something. From a great height.
From the inexpert, almost arbitrary ways in which shots are composed, to the nonsensical editing, to the slapdash sound mixing that makes the sparkling dialogue difficult to hear, perhaps the greatest sin committed by Last Call is how thoroughly unlikable everyone is. Evidently, all the main characters are heavy drinkers, so at least viewers can keep their fingers crossed that alcohol poisoning will soon claim them all.
Last Call is released digitally on demand on 29th March 2021.
Watch the trailer for Last Call here: