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The Last Yellow (1999)

They put the S in Hit Men

Directed by:

Julian Farino

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 93 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom

Mark Addy, best known as the lovable tubster from ‘The Full Monty’, is more an object of annoyance than affection in this uneasy big screen adaptation of a semi-popular stage play.

He plays Frank, a fat friendless loser whose only noteworthy feature is the most incredible short-top long-back eat-your-heart-out-Chris-Waddle mullet that this reviewer has ever clapped eyes on. Things go from bad to worse for our bottom-feeding protagonist when his mum finally decides to kick him out of the family home and he has to move into a soulless Leicester B&B. That’s where he meets bespectacled simpleton Kenny (Charlie Creed-Miles) and his dribbling wheelchair-bound brother Keith (James Hooton, a.k.a. village idiot Sam Dingle from TV’s ‘Emmerdale’) – and that’s when things start to get interesting (or at least threaten to).

Enthused by Frank’s tall tales of a past life as an S.A.S. hit man, empty-skulled Kenny convinces his new pal to travel to London with him and assist in the murder of the pub thug responsible for handicapping his brother. So they jump on the next National Express coach, make for the capital, and wait for their target to make an appearance. But, as you can probably guess, things don’t go entirely to plan.

Directed by first-timer Julian Farino and written by Paul Tucker, it’s certainly got a bit or originality about it, and there’s little fault to find in any of the performances. Addy makes the most of a confusing character you’re never quite sure whether to hate or feel sorry for, and Samantha Morton (Creed-Miles’ real-life partner, don’tcha know) produces probably the film’s most memorable performance as a ballsy hostage.

Unfortunately, the screenplay struggles to break free from the confines of its meagre theatre origins, and lacks the sort of depth necessary in both character and structure to make it a success. As for the humour – it works in places, but whether they’re the places that are actually intended to be funny is anyone’s guess. It’s not a complete mess, but it’s hardly the most competently put-together piece of film you’re ever likely to see. Addy and Morton both do much better elsewhere.

It's Got: A cliché-tastic whistle-stop tour of London’s top attractions, from its zoo to its sex dungeons.

It Needs: Addy to stop calling everyone “me duck”.

DVD Extras Cast and crew info, a trailer, and some production notes. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Alternatives:

All Or Nothing, Meantime

Summary

Let’s hope it really is the last.

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