Last Looks Review

PLOT: A former golden boy LAPD detective (Charlie Hunnam) turned recluse is lured back to the city by a former flame (Morena Baccarin) who’s a P.I that vanishes while trying to clear an alcoholic movie star (Mel Gibson) in the brutal slaying of his wife.

REVIEW: As far as VOD movies go, Last Looks has a pretty good pedigree. Had the pandemic not happened (this was shot before), it likely would have gotten some festival play and wound up with a more prestigious release based on the cast alone. It’s based on a series of novels by author Howard Michael Gould, who adapts his book here. Charlie Hunnam plays the hero, Charlie Waldo, who’s a departure for the actor to some degree. Typecast as a tough guy following Sons of Anarchy and his Guy Ritchie movies, Waldo is more of a Fletch-type character. He solves crimes using his wits and often gets the tar kicked out of him in classic private eye fashion. The twist is that he’s also obsessed with sustainability, refusing to drive a car (he takes public transit and his bike), living in a solar-panelled trailer and only allowing himself to own one hundred things. One of them is a giant aluminum sculpture of an elephant. The other is a chicken.

last looks review, Mel Gibson

Indeed, Last Looks is more in the vein of Fletch or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang than an action flick, and for the most part, it’s an amusing watch. This is thanks mainly to the top-shelf cast, including Mel Gibson in a meatier role than usual as the rich client Waldo’s helping out. Nowadays, when you see Gibson in something, he usually has little more than a walk-on, similar to the spot other heavyweights of his era have found themselves in. Last Looks is a legitimate supporting role, with his Alastair Pinch an alcoholic eccentric that gives Gibson some scenery to chew on by adopting an effete English accent. The premise isn’t half bad, with Rupert Friend’s sleazy exec wanting Pinch cleared so he can get twenty more episodes of a long-running legal procedural wrapped to kick off a rich syndication deal.

What’s interesting about Last Looks is how unintentionally dated it is in some ways, thanks to all the upheaval in the industry lately. It’s hard to believe that a guy like Pinch, who’s shown to beat up extras, abuse his staff and may have killed his wife, would still be seen as a viable commodity by Hollywood. Nowadays, even the slightest whiff of scandal would get him bounced from the show (even if he is innocent). It almost feels like this should have been set in the nineties.

last looks review Charlie Hunnam

The seriocomic vibe also doesn’t always work. As much as I love him, Gibson often plays his character a little too broad, compared to Hunnam, who’s more grounded. Gibson acts like he’s in Knives Out, while Hunnam acts like he’s in a more straight-laced movie, even if the role is on the lighter side for him. A subplot involving a low-level gangster (played by Jacob Scipio) also doesn’t amount to much and pads the running time, while supporting players like Clancy Brown and Method Man are under-used. Despite her importance to the plot, Morena Baccarin only has a handful of scenes, with Lucy Fry as a thrill-seeking teacher more the female lead here.

Director Tim Kirkby, who made the Johnny Knoxville movie Action Point, keeps things moving at a solid clip, and the film is at its best towards the end when Gibson gets the opportunity to give his character pathos. When given the right material, Gibson can still bring it – big time. He has good chemistry with Hunnam, and had this been made twenty years ago I imagine Gibson himself would have peen playing Waldo.

In the end, Last Looks is a solid private eye whodunit, even if the ultimate culprit is perhaps too easy to predict. The performances alone make it worth a watch. It’s not in the top pantheon of private eye flicks, but I enjoyed watching it, making it a solid VOD rental for fans of Hunnam and Gibson.

Last Looks



Viewer Ratings (0 reviews)

Add your rating

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.