19 May 2020 | TwistedContent
Aimed Higher than it Could Hit - A Mediocre Melodrama with a Good Cast
Colin and James Krisels directional debut prides itself as a Hitchcockian thriller - and it is - threadbare, soft, lazy, the 'lite' version. "Last Moment of Clarity" showcases a great cast for an indie movie, the growingly popular Samara Weaving, Zach Avery in the lead role, one my personal favorites from "Mr. Robot" - Carly Chaikin, and also veterans Brian Cox and Udo Kier in roles worth perhaps a couple minutes of screen time. The ensemble, plus the concept was enough to pull me in this endeavor, but it wasn't that easy to stay in it.
Meet Zach Avery's Sam, a troubled guy living a small and contained life in Paris, dealing with painful memories about his girlfriend Georgia's (Samara Weaving) death in a house fire three years back in New York. One day at the movies he sees an actress bearing an uncannily similar resemblance to Georgia, and step by step the obsession takes Sam to Los Angeles in search of this actress. There he meets the helpful Kat (Carly Chaikin), who's my favorite character of this movie, though I might just have a long time crush on her or something. And the mystery slowly unravels... Slowly, and worse yet, in predictable ways. The atmosphere (and pacing) tends to be monotonous, characters and dialogue - also action - are pretty clichéd or have issues with realisticity (in which the movie really tries to ground itself), or just appear cheap. Having said that, the sum of it all works at least on a mediocre level. A good Hitchcockian thriller succeeds at making you think up some theories and guess what's going to happen, in regards of this "Last Moment of Clarity" fails a lot and I found myself bummed out by the high predictability factor. It's not all that bad though - once I got to feel for the characters a little, I was hoping for the very ending I got.
The cast, although wearing forgettable and thin characters, is what did it the most for me. "Last Moment of Clarity" is 80% melodrama, and only then it's a thriller, and I'd say the thriller parts were arguably the worst parts. Though some of the drama feels like just shameless pandering, other pieces, with all their luscious romance and subtle relationship antics, worked. On one hand, it feels like the actors sailed through a tired movie tiredly, but perhaps it's the best possible balance among all the ingredients. Zach Avery provides the troubled lead who kind of lacks emotion, Samara Weaving's character's lesser than You probably think, but hungry guy fans will see the scenes they wish for, and my personal favorite - Carly Chaikin - has a character that's the easiest to sympathize with, even objectively, I'm sure. I was expecting more Brian Cox, but be warned, he's there for a short while, and only to show off a crazy accent.
On a technical level, "Last Moment of Clarity" can feel somewhat drab and ineffectively gloomy, but it is cinematographed, edited and colored well enough. Let's not forget this is an indie feature which's largest chunk of budget very likely went to the names on the poster. Original score's pretty whack though, didn't think that in the first half, but it's really rather flat.
"Last Moment of Clarity" has aimed higher than it could hit & the sum of it lands in the bowl of mediocrities, but there are flavors to enjoy, provided You liked anything of what I just talked about. My rating: 5/10.