The movie has bundles of small-town charm and a positive overall message, yet the repetitive story-line leaves much to be desired.
Written by Becca Johnson
With a star-studded cast including Bruce Dern, Jeremy Piven and Orange is the New Black's Taryn Manning, Last Call tells the story of a real estate developer who returns to his old Philly neighbourhood, where he must decide whether to raze or resurrect the family bar.
Though the talent pool is pretty large, unfortunately the performances are hit or miss. Jeremy Piven gives a believable performance in the lead role as Mick, our real estate developer who is torn between right or wrong when deciding the fate of the bar and the town as a whole. Bruce Dern is charming as ever, although he is often used as comedic relief. Taryn Manning steals the show as Ali, the love interest of our lead. She gives an incredibly strong performance with lots of heart, and creates one of the only likeable characters Last Call has to offer. Unfortunately the rest of the performances are pretty underwhelming, and there's not one likeable character in our main group of rowdy, beer-chugging dudes.
The initial story-line is a promising one. It's interesting to see Mick navigating his desire to make money yet keep his family and hometown safe and happy. He has a very negative opinion of those who he thinks have become 'stuck' in the town and not left for bigger opportunities, yet he gets sucked back into the lifestyle of the people in this town immediately and it's plain to see the towns importance to him. Unfortunately, this story-line is masked by very repetitive and annoying scenes of our lead characters getting drunk, smoking and shouting over each other. These scenes pollute the movie, resulting in an uncomfortable and dull watch. By the time the credits roll, its hard to feel like you've witnessed anything other than unlikeable guys getting smashed.
For a comedy, the humour simply does not work. The script opts for a childish and crude approach when it comes down to the humour, with penis jokes aplenty. This might find its audience somewhere, yet this type of comedy leaves a lot to be desired with most movie viewers. Last Call has an awful lot of heart and some really nice feel-good family moments, meaning the feeble attempts at comedy feel out of place and extremely weak. The movie would've had the same outcome without them, so perhaps in Last Call's case, less would've been more.
Last Call is a very chilled out watch about a man navigating his morality, and discovering new things about both himself and the people around him that he grew up with. The small-town feel makes for a comforting time, and it's always fun to see the likes of Taryn Manning and Bruce Dern. However, the movie is incredibly weak in the comedy department, and churns out one too many scenes of unbearable guys getting wasted and speaking in a derogatory manner. The interesting premise of whether to raze or resurrect the family bar is pushed aside, leaving the audience with dumb characters doing dumb things.