The Last Days of American Crime: Film Review

The Last Days of American Crime (2020)

No, just no. Netflix’s next instalment in its action film arsenal turned out to be more disappointed than expected. Set in the near future when America has become a police-run state, the film takes place a few days before the introduction of a law that would prevent any citizen from committing any crime. Looking at this time period as an opportunity a group of criminals decide to commit the ‘last crime’ that will happen in America.

I really like Edgar Ramirez but the trailer itself wasn’t all that exciting to be honest. I really didn’t have too many expectations going into the film but it turns out that it didn’t even meet them. The plot did have quite a bit of potential though: the government is preparing to launch a signal that would jam the citizen’s brains if they were contemplating breaking the law. This period before the initiation of the signal results in chaos, disorder and anarchy: people are running about, robbing shops, banks, parading with guns in their hands – sort of like ‘The Purge.” While everyone makes plans to move to Canada, one criminal, Graham Bicke (Edgar Ramirez) decides to pull off on last ‘great heist’ in American history. So he partners with a member of a rich crime family and his girlfriend to pull it off. Instead of focusing on things like what thoughts qualify as crime activity in this dystopia like would piracy count? Lying? Stealing a pencil from your friend?  Or even looking at it through the lense of a heist film, with some great inspiration like “Money Heist” out there, the film is all over the place. It sort of tried to mix ‘The Purge,” “Minority Report” and “Money Heist” but failed.

The film, directed by Olivier Megaton, never really captures the audience’s interest. The possible hype that was created before the film starts is lost quite soon. Megaton brings in his ‘chaotic’ action style similar to that of his famous ’15 shots of Liam Neeson jumping over a fence” scene from taken, which doesn’t really aid in grasping the audience’s interest. The screenplay and the score nowhere aid the poor direction of this film.

The film had a decent cast with Edgar Ramirez, Michael Pitt and Anna Brewster but what I don’t get is all of them are South African who make an attempt to speak in an American accent and the film is set in South Africa showing no reference to the film being set in America. The screenplay did almost nothing to bring up their characters either, with Graham simply staring seriously at the other characters cause we literally can barely hear it and Shelby Dupree (Anna Brewster) simply keeps breaking down cause she loves him but her feelings are only based in one fling? In the bathroom? Doesn’t really make much sense to me.

Well, with the lack of a story I thought the action sequences could possibly bring up the movie but it was simply an infinite number of machine guns being fired at the characters. That’s pretty much it. There were expenses car chases where the cars didn’t do anything exciting except character shooting at each other. The heist itself provided less ingenuity and again was simply the robbers firing machine guns in the air and yelling cuss words. There isn’t much that we haven’t seen any film before, and have seen much better in those.

For me, the one redeeming quality in this film (spoilers ahead – not exactly cause she’s the one narrating) was the twist that Shelby was actually the mastermind the real lead behind this whole story. Only if the movie justified her character some more, it could have possibly made it a better film.

Based on the 2009 comic book by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini, the story held up a lot of promise but the film didn’t utilize any of it. There was so much more that the film could’ve looked into, instead it was simply loaded with mediocre car chases, guns and sex. All in all, the film was incoherent. The film stretches out for about 2 and a half hours and watching in one sitting is an ordeal (Point Break reference – a much better Edgar Ramirez movie for those interested) in itself. There are just a lot of clichés: the film offers little that we haven’t already seen, still, it is currently at number 4 on Netflix India’s top movies.

– Aryamaan Dholakia

Aryamaan’s Score – 47/100                                               Aman’s Score –

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