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Netflix’s ‘The Last Days of American Crime’ is a Crime Against Entertainment

The film didn’t have to be as long as it is. It just dragged on and on with scenes that had no substance. Every so often we get an action scene, and even those isn’t that fun.

The Last Days of American Crime (2020)

2 / 5
1 / 5

Netflix just released its newest thriller, and frankly, I’m getting pretty tired of them. Sure, thrillers can be exciting and keep you on the edge of your seat, but this thriller did nothing of the sort. Instead of gaining a thrill of excitement, I gained immense boredom.

This film ran for 149 minutes. 149 minutes; That’s nearly two-and-a-half-hours and not one of those minutes was worth it; not one. I kept pausing the film to see how long I had left and it just kept going and going and going. It never seemed to end.

Anyways, The Last Days of American Crime is about the government’s plan to send out a signal that would put an end to crime forever. A guy named Brike (Edgar Ramírez) who specializes in crime, wants to do one more heist by stealing millions of dollars and escaping to Canada before the signal goes off.

The premise is kind of interesting, but that’s giving the film too much credit. Random scenes are thrown in and before you can properly process them, we’re onto the next one. Characters are introduced briefly and are never seen or mentioned again. Our main character, Brike acts like a brick as he carries only one emotion throughout the film: mild annoyance. Even when Brike gets shot at, he acts like someone’s throwing tomatoes at him.

This expression is plastered to his face like glue

Brike doesn’t have much going for him. He has a brother who mysteriously dies in jail, but Brike barely reacts when he finds out. Sure, he could be in shock, but he still maintains that ‘mildly annoyed’ expression so it makes it unlikely. We barely knew much about the brother anyways, so we the audience can’t share any sympathy for our main character.

We also have Shelby (Anna Brewster), who wants to make-out with Brike every chance she gets despite having a fiancee, but it’s okay because the fiancee’s pretty much a jerk. Still, Brike and Shelby share zero chemistry; they talk briefly about random stuff before sticking their tongues down each other’s throats. Heck, their first meeting is them exchanging cheesy one-liners before they’re hooking up in a cramped, dirty bathroom. Needless to say, that part’s gross.

There’s another character named William (Sharlto Copley) who’s a police officer and has his own B plot. Guess what happens? Nothing. He meets this beaten-up woman who shows up at his police station, but she disappears when William seeks out help. Who is this woman? What happened to her? Who knows? We never find out, and the woman is never brought up again. William ends up wandering around the set, searching for his purpose in the film. William doesn’t even meet the other characters aside from Shelby. The two wind up fighting each other, but they never share dialogue. Why do they fight? Who knows, we need another action scene. We’re past the two-hour mark now, so the director has to add more violence so the audience doesn’t fall asleep.

Seriously, the film didn’t have to be as long as it is. It just dragged on and on with scenes that had no substance. Every so often we get an action scene, and even those isn’t that fun. When the main character gets injured and even burnt without expressing the appropriate emotion, why should we care? Why should we care about any of these characters who are nothing more but cardboard cutouts?

As far as diversity goes, the film stars Edgar Ramírez who’s from Venezuela, and Sharlto Copley who’s from South Africa. But besides that, not much really. There’s only one important female character, and while she’s in an action film, she doesn’t have any good action scenes of her own. She gets kidnapped at one point and Brike has to save her, so that’s something we need in 2020: another damsel in distress.

Overall, The Last Days of American Crime is not worth your time. Watching this film is akin to watching paint dry in a cramped, windowless room for over two hours. You’re unable to leave. You’re unable to sit comfortably because you’re sitting in a cold metal chair that’s unable to get warm. There’s nothing fun about the film, nothing entertaining. It’s surely a crime against all things that makes cinema engaging.

Originally Published by Lauren Massuda on June 9, 2020