The Last Days of American Crime

A bank robber joins a plot to commit one final, historic heist before the government turns on a mind-altering signal that will end all criminal behavior.

Year: 2020
Certificate: 18
Director: Olivier Megaton
Starring: Edgar RamírezMichael PittAnna BrewsterPatrick BerginSharlto CopleyBrandon AuretTamer BurjaqTerence MaynardJames Richard Marshall

Information Page:

Longer than it should be but certainly not a bad film

It always strikes me how polarising some films can be in the world of online critics and reviews. Since its release last week, “The Last Days of American Crime” has generated a lot of column inches about how terrible it is because it got a 0% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes. I had planned on watching the film since seeing the trailer and reading the synopsis and I’m the kind of person that likes to make up his own mind rather than simply following Teh Interwebz. So I set aside 2½ hours last night to watch the film.

The film is based around the US government implementing a new mind-controlling signal called API (American Peace Initiative) that stops people from being able to commit crimes. As the clock ticks down to the launch of the API a notorious bank robber called Graham Bricke (Edgar Ramírez) is contacted by Kevin (Michael Pitt) and Shelby (Anna Brewster) to join them in pulling off one massive bank heist before the signal is started. We also learn fairly early on that Bricke ripped off the local mafia boss and has a hit on him and that his partner in crime, younger brother Rory, died while in prison. These become important later in the film.

The opening of the fim is fairly graphic but paints enough of a picture to get you up to speed with the story. Visually the film is quite interesting with a fairly dark look and feel to it – it’s based on the graphic novel of the same name and it does feel like they’ve gone for a ‘comic book’ -style look. There’s also plenty of music throughout which fits really well with the film – including tracks from Portishead and Depeche Mode.

As you would expect in a heist film there’s plenty of double-crossing and reveals throughout. But these are certainly not confusing to any viewer paying attention. Admittedly some of the story is somewhat outlandish but it’s based on a comic book series and it does feel very comic book-esque. Anyone who has read Robert Kirkman’s “DIE! DIE! DIE!” will have a good idea of how many twists and turns you can get in just a few issues – although I suspect that to the general film viewer these things may be somewhat off-putting.

The plan is to rob a bank and carry a truckload of money into Canada where the API is not in use and where they can all live happily ever after. But it takes quite a lot of time to get to the actual heist that is mentioned in the synopsis and, in my personal opinion, this isn’t even the main part of the story. While it was marketed as an action/heist film it feels more like a drama and the storytelling and pacing match that. Yes, there are a number of action scenes; yes there are some super violent scenes; yes there’s some comedy… but overall I would say it’s a drama – quite a long one at that.

“The Last Days of American Crime” is, actually, a fairly decent film. It shows how different groups feel about the API – either for or against; and it also touches on the police and their potential power to abuse. While the overall story may be predictable there are enough twists and reveals to keep it interesting. My only real complaints are that the subplot about one of the cops just doesn’t go anywhere or add to the story; and that it’s just too long – it could have been condensed to 2 hours, maybe even shorter, and still got the story told.

It is certainly no where near as bad as the critics say though – but admittedly it could have been better. Give it a watch and let us know your thoughts!

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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