Netflix has blessed (or "blessed") us with yet another crime blockbuster, this time one directed by Olivier Megaton ("Transporter 3", "Taken 2", "Colombiana"), who's no stranger to action movies. The critical acclaim has never been real high for him, and, sadly, "The Last Days of American Crime" is within the same ballpark as all his movies before. Personally, this is my least favorite chapter in his filmography.
In a not-too-distant future, as they put it, U.S. government is a week away from activating a signal that will make it impossible for people to go against the law, any and all law. It will do so via brain rape, just try lifting a gun or shoplifting a snickers and you'll freeze and shake uncontrollably. You probably can hear the sarcasm and irony already, so yes, I did not enjoy this movie a lot. Besides that particular interesting and far-fetched idea, it's a highly conventional and thoroughly mildly frustrating crime flick romp, featuring plot and characters based off ancient blueprints. Some characters are no more than a mere sketch, like the one given to the guy I was excited to see the most, Sharlto Copley. His storyline went down the mill and down the hill. First half an hour is mostly pure and simple exposition, and the action doesn't even change gears until 70 minutes into already. There's all the usual romance and subplots, all of which end up just about where You expect them. The melodrama at play here really ticks all the most typical and overused boxes. Movie's real enemy, though, is its runtime. It is way too long for its own good, way too long and featuring way too little, clocking in at 2 hours and 20 minutes & that's not counting titles. A story of this depth and this quality usually deserves maybe a 100 minutes, maybe, and even then it still is what it is. At the very least, I was expecting a good heist factor. Everything leads up to it, only for me to understand that it's the wackiest, most unexciting heist movie ever. Frankly, the heist plot and even the crime-stopping-signal plot matter very little in the big picture of "The Last Days of American Crime". They say the graphic novel this movie's based on, is great and all. I don't know about that, but the adaptation certainly isn't great.
The Positives? Acting. No award material on the horizon, but decent portrayals of dry characters, with the highlight probably being Anna Brewster and Michael Pitt, though Pitt's character is not easy to like. Next positive would be big budget. Movie looks arguably good, though still, by all means, it's undoubtedly an uninspired blockbuster. Crisp, contrastive cinematography, sometimes overkilled in editing, we also got explosions, raging guns, crashes and whatnot. The typical drivel, it just happens to be well made here. And original score, soundtrack - also decent. For a big part, the movie is pretty macho, many male characters are like that, boys, and if there's one truth in this world, it's that boys will be boys. The original score, being rocky and bluesy, went hand in hand with that. As for the soundtrack, it reminded of "Sucide Squad", because it had good songs, but no good reason to use them whatsoever. "The Last Days of American Crime" ended with Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" - kind of a waste on a two-bit cliché ending like this one.
It's a movie of no originality, but it's not exactly bad at being a well made conventional crime thriller, I mean as conventional as it gets, despite its sci-fi-ish backdrop. It shoots itself in all the rest proverbial knees by making itself a 2 and a half hour experience, major mistake there. Regardless of the runtime, but even more because of it, I don't recommend watching this brick of a movie. My rating: 5/10.