The Colombiana – and Taken 2 & 3 – director, Olivier Megaton, is back with an adaptation of Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini’s graphic novel “The Last Days of American Crime.” Maybe his previous films do not inspire much confidence or you might like one or two of them but with a cast including Edgar Ramirez (Zero Dark Thirty), Michael Pitt (Shell), or Sharlto Copley (Maleficent) is worth giving it a shot? I mean the premise alone should do it.
Premise: In the not-too-distant future, as a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans to broadcast a signal – the American Peace Initiative – making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts. But Graham and his team have a plan, the heist of the century, he’s ready to pull off the last and greatest crime in the history of the United States. But even if the plan goes off without a hitch… Will the last day of American crime end with Graham and his team becoming overnight millionaires, or will they spend the rest of eternity wondering where they went wrong?
Review: For a film set in the near future, it has the aesthetic of a 90’s movie, the rioting and looting of today’s news. But what’s also apparent, is that for a +2 hours movie it needed time. Time to let some scenes “breathe” because the movie felt rushed. Time on character development, which would have helped to make us root for or simply care about them. For example, there’s one character that we saw in one scene before we were supposed to be feel for his passing. I didn’t even feel sad or sorry.
Even the main characters could have benefited from some character development, some more show than tell. Kevin for instance, is a social media kid – without the social media – who wants glory for the “gram.” He’s some sort of junkie gangster wannabe, who it turns out has got some sense, but that’s not enough to make him a compelling or memorable character. It’s just one example but it’s kind of the same for everyone.
It took an hour for this movie to become a little more interesting, because of course there were interesting and some WTF – but not in a good way – moments throughout this movie. At some point, it kind of became clear that the story was rushed. The film seemed like a bunch of story beats haphazardly stitched together. I’m guessing they took the graphic novel and crammed as much as they could into the movie. Making it some sort of synopsis, a summary of the graphic novel, leaving it open to inconsistencies.
The good thing is, those plot points were enough to make it an interesting project. That’s what convinced me that a miniseries would have been better suited for this. The action scenes and some of the acting are also good but not enough to hide the flows.
The Last Days of American Crime has action, bad-ass moments but falls short of being a memorable movie or one that you won’t be tempted to just turn off. There’s one thing that had me going after I watched it, what would be your last crime?
You can check out the graphic novel here