The Last Heist opens with Mick (Perry Benson, Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday, Sid and Nancy) talking to his son Slips (Michael Head, On the Other Foot, Adam Loves Evelyn) telling him he doesn’t want him following in his footsteps. And that he has an “insurance policy” to help prevent that from happening.
In the next scene, we’re at his funeral. He went to the grave with the nature of that policy still a secret. But Slips believes it’s stashed in a safe deposit box his father kept under an alias. With no other options, he pulls his old crew, Waldorf (Terry Stone, Fanged Up, Once Upon a Time in London), Prozac (Sam Gittins, Wolves of War, Await Further Instructions) and Fisherman (Ricky London) together for what should be the last heist they’ll need to pull off.
Director Coz Greenop (Dark Beacon, House Red) and writers Michael Head and Lucinda Royden don’t structure The Last Heist as a straightforward bank robbery film. Instead, they skip past the actual heist and pick up six months later as the gang meets to split the proceeds and figure out why things didn’t go according to plan. As they discuss what happened, and the fallout from it, we see the robbery in bits and pieces as well as other flashbacks, such as a young Slips watching his father fry a man’s face off in hot oil for stealing from him.
And it’s these kinds of flashbacks that take up much of The Last Heist’s first hour. It’s as much a series of vignettes about the London underworld as it is the story of this one particular bank job. A series of rather grim viginettes I should add. So while there is a fair amount of action and bloosdshed it’s dished out here and there across the various tales, frequently with a good bit of talk in between.
Indeed for all the poster and trailer play on the robbery, Trump masks and “We’re making bank robberies great again.” line, The Last Heist is more about those stories and the effects they had on those involved. and brought them to this point. It’s more of a crime drama with bursts of violence than an outright action film. And taken as such it’s fairly good, for the first hour at least.
And then in the final act, The Last Heist take a hard turn into The Twilight Zone that caught me by surprise. And there’s really no way to discuss the rest of the film without giving it away. And I wish I could because I have some very mixed feelings about where Head and Royden went with the story. It’s an audacious move but I have my doubts about whether or not the viewers will accept it as it feels very out of place in both tone and content.
While the direction it goes in isn’t terrible, the way it’s handled feels wrong for these characters. It’s much too sentimental for a film like The Last Heist and robs it of a lot of it’s effect. The ending needed to be harsher to stay true to itself.
In the end, The Last Heist is a good first hour brought down by a final act that has a point to make but goes about it in a very misguided way. It’s a reminder that creativity can be a good thing, but it needs to be properly channelled to have the desired effect.
The Last Heist will be released to UK Cinemas on November 4th via Platinum Pictures and will be available on Digital platforms on November 14th. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more information or word of an American release. And if you’re looking for more of the same, FilmTagger can suggest some titles.