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The Last Minute (2001)

Don’t waste time – or it’ll waste you.

Directed by:

Stephen Norrington

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 104 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom, United States

Max Beesley, who you may also remember with a slight snigger as Mariah Carey’s daftly-named boyfriend Dice in Glitter, opens up ‘The Last Minute’ by talking directly to the camera. He warns us that the info he’s about to share with us over the upcoming hundred-or-so minutes might just make us rethink the rest of our lives. It’s an over-statement, of course. It simply isn’t good enough to have such a profound or long-lasting effect. It is, however, completely different from any other film I can recall reviewing.

Beesley plays Billy Byrne, a man who briefly has it all. He’s a “minor celebrity”, “the next big thing”, and every other descriptive term we’ve long-since come to associate predominantly with winners of ‘Fame Academy’. But what happens when it all goes Pete Tong? Well, in Billy’s case the next stage involves losing his long-suffering girlfriend (Kate Ashfield), hooking up with a gang of under-ground under-age junkie pick-pockets, and generally turning into an all-out soap-dodger.

Written and directed by Stephen Norrington (he did this one in the years in-between Blade and the appalling League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), it a curious through-the-looking-glass tale that often threatens to drown in its own pretentiousness. Norrington’s style blurs fantasy and reality, often to the point that it appears to be revelling in its own attempts to confuse. Hardly ingredients for a successful film, and indeed many viewers could well be turned off by what may come across as just one more addition to a long line of style-over-substance non-entities.

What sets ‘The Last Minute’ aside from the dross, however, is that it’s original, it’s unusual and – perhaps flying in the face of all better judgement – it’s surprisingly compelling. The characters aren’t exactly a likable bunch, but they ARE interesting, you’ll have little chance of guessing what any of them are going to do next. It certainly won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but this is a Brit-flick that isn’t afraid to draw its own boundaries and, for that reason, is definitely worth seeing.

It's Got: Puke in the back of a cab.

It Needs: A mop.

DVD Extras A trailer, some crew bios, weblinks, production notes, previews, interviews, quizzes, guides, videos, some interactive film views, and a handful of pointless montages. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10

Alternatives:

Silent Cry

Summary

Bizarre, but far from inane – give it a go if you fancy something a bit different.

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