By Seth Lukas Hynes
The Last Days of American Crime
Starring Édgar Ramírez, Anna Brewster and Michael Pitt
The Last Days of American Crime is a shallow and overwhelmingly tedious thriller.
Days before a government-broadcast signal is set to suppress all crime in America, three career criminals plan a legendary heist.
The Last Days of American Crime has blunt, hokey dialogue, bland characters and disjointed editing. The plot is a series of violent vignettes and obvious twists connected by a vague plan, unintentionally funny melodrama and poorly-acted stretches of emptiness.
Édgar Ramírez, as gangster protagonist Graham Bricke, is a staggeringly wooden lead. Michael Pitt provides some amusement as an ambitious, foul-mouthed crime family heir, but he overstays his welcome and becomes obnoxious.
The film makes almost no effort to explain its near-future setting or how its API crime-negating signal works. The premise is ripe for commentary on how people in authority decide what is legal, but the film skips over this theme in favour of hollow brutality.
The climax has a grimly-engaging sequence in which a main character overcomes the API signal through concentrated nihilism, but it’s not worth slogging through two miserable hours to get to it. Moreover, another character beats the signal through a pill, which dilutes the first character’s macabre mental triumph.
Sleaze can be fun, but this is sleaze with no relatable characters, subtlety or cohesion.
The Last Days of American Crime is a tedious, inept, wretched experience, and is available for streaming on Netflix.