‘The Last Days of American Crime’ is a Netflix crime thriller directed by French filmmaker Olivier Megaton based on the graphic novel of the same name by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini. It was made by Radical Studios and Mandalay Pictures.
Career criminal Graham Bricke (Édgar Ramírez) is living in the United States as the government launches API, a signal that disables criminals in the act of a crime. There is chaos as Americans flee to Canada so that they cannot be hit by it. After Graham loses his brother in prison, he is approached by Kevin Dash (Michael Pitt) and Shelby Dupree (Anna Brewster) to pull off one final crime before the signal activates in order to escape to Canada and live off their new winnings. At first, Bricke is hesitant, but when Kevin tells him that his brother was killed by prison guards who used the signal against him, he agrees.
The opening sequence to the film, when Bricke confronts the men who betrayed his gang, is the best of the movie. It is well-shot and well-acted with a terrifying crescendo that really shows the dark nature of crime. It seems to be circular from beginning to end and while that scene is well-done, I cannot say the same for the rest of the movie.
After that, the movie becomes a convoluted mess. They introduce characters that make you think they are significant only to have them disappear mere minutes later. Or a character will just appear out of nowhere and their significance will not be explained. Even some of the main characters seem to just be there to force the plot to move forward because, without their expertise, the goal of the scene could not be accomplished. It made a lot of them lack depth and seem two dimensional.
There is a subplot involving a character named William Sawyer played by Sharlto Copley. He is a police officer who gets a probe meant to make him immune to the signal to better fight crime. His entire plot could have been cut from the movie because it clearly was just there to manifest the anti-law enforcement narrative in the film. It is not just Sawyer who is the problem, every officer is portrayed as corrupt and abusive. Not one is given any ray of hope or kindness. These whole sequences could have been removed and it may have made the movie a bit more passible.
The acting is not terrible, but the performers had some bad writing to work with. I have not read the graphic novel, so I cannot compare it in that way, but these guys wrote such a disjointed plot. The scenes and even the dialogue seemed to be disconnected and at times unrelated. There were some scenes where the characters were just doing something random and it had nothing to do with the film.
As I stated, the movie had a confusing narrative. At times, it seemed to be against the government implementing a signal to stop crime, but then it would bash police officers, the FBI, and even the US military. I can tell that Olivier Megaton has rarely visited America and when he did, he only stopped off at New York or Los Angeles because it definitely had a coastal elite vibe to how the story went off.
Bottom line, The Last Days of American Crime is a confusing narrative that does not seem to know what it wants to say. Wrap that in the disjointed plot, an army of useless characters, and poorly written dialogue and you have one film that is not worth it.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong foul language, Bloody violence, Drug/Alcohol abuse, Sexual content
FAVORITE QUOTE: I made some bad choices.
Check out the trailer below:
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