The Last Minute


People love Billy Byrne. His very presence in a room is enough to disrupt the electrical fields of lights and electronics close to him.


Wri/dir. Stephen Norrington (of Blade fame), 113 minutes uncut 104 minutes cut

Life is finite. You have a set amount of days, hours, minutes, and seconds that you’re spending every moment you’re on the face of this earth. The clock is counting down and there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. It doesn’t help that you don’t start to realize you’re actually living until maybe age 4, and cease to care about that fact 6 years before you sputter out. If you take the remaining time and subtract the 8 hours a day used for sleep (a full third of the day), and you’re not left with much time.

Such is the problem faced by Billy Byrne. He’s an artist, though in what field of art is never said. It’s taken him 10 years to get to the top of his field and he’s on the brink of superstardom. He’s filled with creative energy. People love him. People want to BE him. His very presence in a room is enough to disrupt the electrical fields of lights and electronics close to him.

But fame is fleeting. The media’s love is fickle. The very people that raised Billy on their shoulders and pronounced him the next big thing chew him up and spit him out. He’s at his lowest point ever. His girl’s left him. He’s homeless. His flat-mate has taken his place as the next big thing. He’s even been robbed by a convenience store clerk. Fame is farther away than it has ever been and time is swiftly running out.

The Last Minute is written and directed by Stephen Norrington of Blade fame, and LXG infamy. Luckily this film is better than LXG, and surprisingly better than Blade. If only this got a wide release instead of LXG. Oh well. Unfortunately the version I saw was a rated cut version, and therefore shortened by about 10 full minutes. You can rent the rated version on DVD now at your local video store, though, if you can, this movie is well worth tracking down and purchasing in an uncut version.

The film itself is amazing. It has the visual flair of Fight Club, but is also infused with the sense of mystery and strange beauty found in almost all David Lynch films. Certain characters, like Percy, the sledge wielding drug dealer, commit acts of extreme violence, only to burst into song immediately thereafter (He reminded me a lot of Suave Ben from Blue Velvet.) The wide range of characters belong to the elite art crowd, the underground rave scene, underground societies of children thieves, psychotic drug dealers, and scary rat dogs. Some reviewers have likened the film’s style to Trainspotting, and Guy Ritchie’s films. Although it is edgy like Boyle’s Trainspotting, the two shouldn’t really be compared. The film is also much more intelligent than anything Guy Ritchie has ever produced.

There are no clear-cut answers in this film, as there are no clear-cut answers in life. I’ll stop there in the interest of staying spoiler-free. To understand the film you need to see it, and then form your own opinion.

On to the disc. The DVD transfer is very clear. The cinematography is beautiful and represented very well with the extremely clear picture. The sound is as clear as the picture, and represented well in Dolby 5.1. The DVD menus have been likened to videogame menus as you have to search for options rather than their being listed like a normal dvd. I haven’t had time to check out the features yet, but I think I’ll wait for the unrated version anyways.

All in all The Last Minute is a thought provoking, ass kicking film that has to be seen to be understood. Then seen again to be enjoyed fully. Do yourself a favor and see it this weekend.

You can check out the film’s websites here:

Palm Pictures:
Venom Entertainment:

--Chris Nelson




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