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The Last Shot
DVD disk
May 24, 2005 By: Scott Weinberg
The Last Shot order
Director:
Jeff Nathanson

Actors:
Alec Baldwin
Matthew Broderick
Toni Collette

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A sad-sack FBI agent enlists a desperate wannabe filmmaker to unknowingly assist him in an elaborate sting operation. The struggling screenwriter believes his Big Break is about to happen ... but the FBI is only producing his movie in order to arrest some low-level mafia stooges!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It's light, it's pleasant, and it's littered with "in-jokes" that the movie geeks will no doubt appreciate. It's also got some really solid actors and even a fairly amusing premise ... so where are all the laughs?

I'm sure all of you folks out there can think of a few offbeat comedies that you actually find some affection for, even though they aren't exactly packed to the rafters with giggles. That's precisely the sort of movie that The Last Shot is. Alec Baldwin is clearly having a pretty good time portraying a duplicitous FBI agent who gets bitten by the show biz bug, Matthew Broderick does his patented noodnik thing, and the background is populated by colorful actors in all-too-brief cameos (keep your eyes peeled for goofy-yet-forgettable performances from Toni Collette, Tony Shalhoub, and Tim Blake Nelson, and Calista Flockhart) -- yet none of the flick really comes together in any discernable way. Joan Cusack, however, does pop up for two whole scenes ... and steals the whole damn movie without even breaking a sweat.

Odd that a comedy (loosely) based on actual events would seem so outlandish, but that's precisely the case here. Instead of a sly and clever comedy about the artifice of independent filmmaking, we're offered garish gags involving public urination and old, old, old-school schtick like the scene in which one unimportant side character promptly drops dead for no good reason.

If you're a big fan of any of the actors involved, you could do worse than to give The Last Shot a quick Netflix rental, but it's not nearly the on-target Hollywood satire that it could have been -- and as a comedy-laced FBI procedural, the thing just falls flat time and again.

(Awesome opening credits sequence, though!)

THE EXTRAS
For such a box office dud, The Last Shot contains a more-than-decent array of extra goodies.

There's a rather laid-back and humorous audio commentary with writer/director Jeff Nathanson and actor Matthew Broderick. The pair talk about the movie here and there, and often digress into all sorts of silly stuff.

Inspired by Actual Events is an enlightening little featurette that introduces the three men who (inadvertently) started the whole mess. An FBI agent and two former screenwriters reunite and reminisce about the time the U.S. government pretended to produce their movie. This featurette makes a lot more sense if you watch it after the movie. Pretty nifty though.

Robert Evans Presents... is a brief collection of deleted scenes which star the legendary producer. These bits were originally meant to move the flick along, but Mr. Nathanson deemed them unnecessary, so off to DVD-land they went!

Deleted Scenes is precisely what it sounds like: four cut (or extended) scenes from the film, each with a brief introduction from the director.

Joan Cusack's Montage - The funniest person in the flick gets her very own (and very brief) collection of outtakes.

You'll also find a fistful of Sneak Peeks for Dark Water, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Pacifier, Scrubs Season One, Home Improvement Season 2, and The Golden Girls Season 2. (And be sure to click around for a pair of hidden easter egss!)

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
As a hardcore movie geek, I could appreciate the premise and the presentation, but I just wish I'd found something in The Last Shot that was truly hilarious. You'll undoubtedly sputter out a few random chuckles here and there, but you'll also forget about The Last Shot within three days. Max.
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