Last Looks Review: Charlie Hunnam & Mel Gibson Show Their Comedy Chops

An ex-cop (Charlie Hunnam) comes out of retirement to help an actor (Mel Gibson) accused of murder in Last Looks.
Charlie Hunnam and Mel Gibson serve up their comedy chops in a moderately funny Hollywood whodunit. Last Looks has a celebrity ex-cop, turned backwoods recluse, coming out of retirement to take the case of a drunkard television star accused of murder. Based on the novel by Howard Michael Gould, who also wrote the screenplay, Last Looks dives chin deep into a seedy world of LA elites, drug dealers, scumbag lawyers, and crooked private dicks. The mystery at its core isn’t too compelling. But the wacky ensemble cast adds enough flavor for an entertaining dish.
Charlie Waldo (Hunnam) lives a hermit’s life in Southern California’s beautiful Idyllwild mountains. A renowned former LAPD detective with a tragic downfall, he’s whittled down his eco-friendly existence to raising chickens and owning a maximum number of a hundred possessions. His tranquility is shattered after a visit from Lorena (Morena Baccarin), an old flame turned private investigator. She’s got a job offer that could pay a fortune.
Alistair Pinch (Gibson), star of the hit judge drama “Johnnie’s Bench”, has been arrested for murdering his wife in their palatial mansion. Charlie kindly refuses but gets another visit later on from more mercenary parties. He decides to visit the production studios when Lorena doesn’t return his calls. Charlie’s repulsed by the studio honcho (Rupert Friend) and his shark lawyer (Robin Givens). But intrigued by the temperamental, Shakespeare-spouting Alistair; who claims he was passed out drunk when his wife was killed. Charlie takes the case. He opens a sordid and dangerous can of worms.
Last Looks strives for a Get Shorty mix of action and humor. It’s not nearly in that lofty league but does have laugh-out-loud moments. Charlie’s efforts to preserve his naturalist lifestyle turns into an effective running gag. He rides his bike everywhere in LA, which becomes problematic and time-consuming. He also struggles to stick to his possessions limit. Alistair’s drunken antics are placated by pandering snivelers who don’t want to upset their cash cow. The film delights in skewering Tinseltown’s snooty arrogance.
Hunnam and Gibson succeed in playing against type. Their characters aren’t ass-kicking tough guys. Hunnam gets bounced around like a ping pong ball. Gibson’s behavior almost reaches slapstick territory. They look natural in roles that audiences would never associate with them. I found it refreshing to see great dramatic actors show a little range and do something different. Gibson has varied his career in later years, but this is truly a new take from Hunnam. He’s been brilliant as a stone-faced, ruggedly masculine lead actor. Watching him get pummeled repeatedly while sporting a Grizzly Adams look is certainly unexpected.
Last Looks has several twists on its way to unmasking the killer. Two reveals, in particular, are head-scratching and totally unbelievable. These spicy edits become a bridge too far in the narrative. Thankfully they don’t tank the film’s pacing and comedic values. Last Looks is produced by Head Gear Films, Metrol Technology, and Romulus Entertainment. It will have a concurrent theatrical and VOD release on February 4th from RLJE Films.
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