How does a film about two men and a woman planning the biggest bank heist of the century before all thoughts of committing criminal activities are wiped out of your mind sound to thriller fans out there? With a stunning trailer, Netflix enthusiasts were banking on the movie becoming an epic, but unfortunately viewers were left robbed.
The latest Netflix film, “The Last Days of American Crime”, which is an adaption of the Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini’s 2009 graphic novel of the same name, brings viewers to a time in near future in which the US has become a fascist police state. The film opens with a TV news broadcast about the so-called American Peace Initiative Programme which has been created by the US government to combat crimes and terrorism.
The broadcast announces that in one week, the government will release a mind-control radio signal which will prevent would be criminals from committing offenses, sparking anarchy in the streets as people try to flee the country.
The government even installs a huge count-down clock in public to signify the release of the mind-control beam.
In response, the son of a rich crime family, Kevin Cash (Michael Pitt), wants to be responsible for the last crime in America, setting his sights on the biggest bank heist in history.
To fulfill his dream, he teams up with his fiancée, Shelby Dupree (Anna Brewster) and hacker genius and experienced bank robber Graham Bricke (Édgar Ramírez) who wants revenge against the government.
Directed by Olivier Megaton, with screenwriting from Karl Gajdusek, viewers probably had high expectations for the thriller but unfortunately they were robbed of a classic.
The script does have an interesting dystopian hook, but the overall plot appears to be a flop. Despite the wider apocalyptic elements of the story being strong on paper, the narrative fails to develop and viewers are left with a tunnel-vision into a small part of the picture. This leads to an unfortunately predictable plot that lacks the engagement any good thriller induces.
Also, it is unnecessarily long, with viewers having to bare 149-minutes of dull screenplay and monotonous narrative.
Perhaps the weak script could have been fixed by good acting, but other than Edgar Ramirez offering few and far between quality action moments, he and the rest of the cast come across as ultimately bland. Michael Pitt overplays his role as a criminal psychopath almost satirically, while Anna Brewster does little to bring out coolness in her character.
As if terrible screenplay and wooden acting were not enough, the film also suffers from bad timing, with its premier on Netflix coinciding with the George Floyd protests. The dystopian outlook on the US state could have offered an interesting resemblance, or at least a juxtaposition given the current state of US politics. However the final product lacks any real realistic merit and despite the original comic and concept being so strong, the film adaption lacks any real impact other than some passable light viewing.
Unfortunately, it seems, the next classic Netflix thriller is still at large.
- Tags: Netflix