Monday, 24 June 2013

Last Ride (2009) - ★★★

Director: Glendyn Ivin
Writers: Mac Gudgeon (Screenplay), Denise Young (Novel)
Stars: Hugo Weaving, Tom Russell, Anita Hegh, Kelton Pell

The Last Ride is an interesting, well-acted drama that is slow and tedious for the most part. It flatlined from start to finish, with hardly any light moments or exciting scenes. The cinematography is absolutely stunning, being the only thing here that's really noteworthy. I can't say that I enjoyed the film, nor would I watch it again. It's pretty good in a lot of aspects, but it failed to impress and maintain my interest.

Kev (Hugo Weaving) is on the run from the law with his son Chook (Tom Russell). He beat his friend to death, a man that was more of a father to Chook than himself. We see them try to survive by stealing cars, food, and squatting in several locations. The whole way through you can sense that it is all in vain, which takes away the intrigue of the story. It's not a bonding film between father and son, it's just a simple story that shows the dysfunctional relationship these two have.

Hugo Weaving was marvelous in this role. I've never seen him give a bad performance, and this would have to be one of his very best. Roger Ebert called it "the performance of a lifetime," but I think that's a big overstatement. Tom Russell was the real star of the film, showing that he's got the chops to outdo Weaving. Since this movie is mostly about the emotional journey that Chook is on, we see him change from 'innocent' to 'messed-up' in a beautiful way. Together, they didn't really have much chemistry. Separate, they were both brilliant.

Kev condoling his son after beating him.
My main issue is that the whole thing moves at a glacial pace. There's an abundance of establishing shots that were interesting at first, but frustrating in the end. We see the sunset dozens of times and the beautiful Australian landscape over and over. The trouble is, that leaves very little room for dialogue and other essential content for a riveting piece of cinema.

The highlight would have to be the scene where they're driving over what appears to be a shallow lake. It is absolutely stunning, yet it wasn't exactly a climax or breathtaking moment for me. I think Last Ride missed a good musical score to really accentuate the emotion and impact of the scenes. Not to mention, there's not one scene where we get to relax and enjoy the characters on screen.

The point I'm trying to make is, Last Ride is boring. When I read the synopsis I thought that it could have been an over-looked masterpiece, but alas I can understand why it's not highly-rated. If there was something other than darkness in this movie, it would have been received a lot better. All I know is that it was an extremely long hour and a half movie.

No comments:

Post a Comment