Whenever I see Charlie Hunnam or Morena Baccarin in the cast list for a film or show, I know I’m going to watch it. Sons of Anarchy and Firefly were two of the best shows ever made and I have faith in the cast members of both series. Seeing the two of them cast in a film together made me jump at the chance to review it. Sadly, it did not live up to my expectations. I’m not sure if it was the writing, the direction, or the acting but something just didn’t click with me for the film. Let’s dig into why that is.
The film is a classic whodunnit. Which might partially explain why it didn’t click with me. I also wasn’t in love with Knives Out. I grew up loving mysteries and I’ve enjoyed a lot of mystery movies over the years, but I find the past few years have been a let down in the mystery genre, they tend to just repeat what we’ve seen in the past. In Last Looks, the wife of a famous actor is murdered, the husband is accused, and it is up to the unwilling private eye to clear his name. Charlie Hunnam plays our P.I., Charlie Waldo, a former police detective who lives in a trailer with a chicken and only allows himself to own 100 hundred items. Waldo is an odd character and that made him interesting initially, but he quickly abandons his convictions when he returns to Hollywood and life in the city. Given how quickly he shifts, it feels like his self-imposed prison of solitude was more of a front than a belief. This caused me to lose some confidence in the character.
Initially, Waldo is approached by Lorena Nascimento, played by Morena Baccarin. While she is the one that gets him involved, she ultimately disappears and Baccarin is unseen for the majority of the film. This made me feel like the trailer was a lie. When I’m told that I’m getting a film starring Hunnam and Baccarin, I expect both of them to feature heavily and her absence was felt. The third big name associated with the film is Mel Gibson, a controversial casting decision these days. If you are someone who can separate the artist from their art, there is no denying that Gibson is a brilliant actor and his portrayal of Alastair Pinch, a drunk British actor, is fantastic, but I suspect that it will cause many to shy away from the film.
Beyond that, the rest of the cast feels like caricatures of real people – Jacob Scipio, Clancy Brown, David Pasquesi, and Method Man all play over the top characters that sometimes make it difficult to focus on the story. Perhaps the idea is that this is how Hollywood lives, but for me it was hard to get into. I just didn’t believe the film’s zany cast of characters.
Then again, a bizarre story could have made the quirky casting work… but the story was relatively tame by comparison, which is why the characters stood out. We had Pink Panther characters in the plot of a weekly police procedural. At the end of the day, the final hour of the film is entertaining enough to make it worth the two plus hour investment, but I’m not sure it would be my first choice to pass the time.
Last Looks will be in Theaters, On Demand, and Digital on February 4.
Giggles & Grins