One Last Chance

Movie Review by Susan Hodgetts

Starring: Jamie Sives, Kevin McKidd, Iain Robertson, Neve McIntosh, Dougray Scott

Director: Stewart Svaasand

The first feature from Dougray Scott’s production company Hero Productions is billed as a Scottish black comedy from new writer/director Stewart Svaasand. Unfortunately there’s not much to laugh about in this muddled myre.

Stuck in Tullybridge, Scotland, in the middle of nowhere, Fitz (Jamie Sives) and girlfriend Barbara are desperate to make a quick buck to get themselves the hell out. Fitz wants to shove his uncommunicative father safely into an old people’s home and his two friends Nellie (Iain Robertson) and Seany (Kevin McKidd) are just desperate to make some dough.

The three accidentally find gold, hide it in a Jesus statue, and when it gets confiscated by the local crime boss they go to desperate lengths to get it back. Sounds ridiculous? It is. The acting is stilted and approaching terrible, the plot is lame and since when was pouring sugar into the petrol cap of your adversary’s van in revenge for a beating cutting edge? Not past the age of 10, anyway. The ridiculous niches of the plot aren’t even worth going into and although there were some funny lines, these just weren’t brought to life.

The characters aren’t sharp enough, there are loose ends in the plot dangling like ropes in a jungle and it’s never explained what Fitz actually does, apart from a throw away line at the end that he “does nothing” – as if that were hastily added to explain a gaping hole in the life of his character. Also girlfriend Barbara working in a corner shop wouldn’t be able to keep them in the kind of well-furnished flat that they seem to enjoy. Surely they could forget about the nice furnishings and scrimp a little if they were so desperate?

Amazingly Fitz’s girlfriend never resents him once for being a lazy sod and not even trying to think about getting a job. He’s not even a slob – his clothes don’t have one tiny hole, he never looks scruffy and he’s not daft. None of the characters, or their world, is complete or fully rounded. If Fitz is having all these problems with money – the whole premise of the plot – why does he not seem to see the obvious and have a go at getting a job?

There’s a really thin attempt to flesh out the characters of Nellie and Seany but it’s appallingly vague like a stick man sketch. I was as desperate to get out of this movie, as the characters supposedly were to break out of their fictional village.

2 out of 6 stars

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