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Review: Bummer 'Last Call' Needlessly Depressing

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Feb 23, 2021
Review: Bummer 'Last Call' Needlessly Depressing

What seemed like an interesting idea, and what could have been an emotionally hard-hitting exploration of despair and connection, never comes together in the needlessly depressing "Last Call."

At only an hour and seventeen minutes long, this tedious film by Gavin Michael Booth opens immediately with a gimmick: We see the entire film play out in real time, with one take, but from two perspectives.

Those perspectives are from Beth (Sarah Booth), a janitor at an adult learning facility, and Scott (Daved Wilkins), a suicidal man who accidentally calls the learning facility instead of a suicide hotline. For some reason Beth, who is frantically trying to get someone to cover her shift because she needs to be home with her child, stays on the line talking to the man who initially seems creepy. Eventually, she figures out he's drunk and suicidal, and spends the next hour plus on the phone with him.

During all this, the screen is split in two, with one side being told from Beth's perspective, and the other from Scott's. Sometimes the screen is cut in half vertically, sometimes horizontally. So, sure, it's impressive that both sides of the screen are one take, so essentially the perspectives were shot at the same time on a soundstage. But that gimmick doesn't hold up with dialogue and a conversation stretched so thin the swift running time feels endless.

Aside from the gimmick (which is interesting for about fifteen minutes), lead Sarah Booth is quite good. Her anxiety at having to work a crap job while hoping to make a better life for her and her kids is palpable, and her fear that Scott will kill himself is felt in every frame. Wilkins, on the other hand, doesn't fare as well, coming across as more of a cartoon character of a sad man than someone actually suicidal.

Not to mention, the film is a total bummer. Nothing is learned, there's no real character arc on either end, and it just feels like an unnecessary snuff film. It's tragedy for tragedy's sake with no point of view or, well, point.

When it was over, I just felt icky and wanted a drink.

"Last Call" will be released on DVD, Blu-ray, VOD, and Digital on February 23.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.

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