Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Last Three Days: Time Gets Tricky

Reaver is the sort of new designer drug that would give Timothy Leary remorse for promoting the drug culture. It will knock a rookie plain clothes cop for a loop, so to speak, but it also might just offer an opportunity for him to undo his mistakes. Of course, as he tries to fix the chaos, he finds more lurking dangers in director-screenwriter Brian Ulrich’s Last Three Days, which releases this Friday on VOD.

Jack and Beth were just so darned perfect together when they met in college. Unfortunately, they have already hit a rough patch early in their marriage. He is a cop and she is a RN on the graveyard shift, so they hardly see each other anymore. Jack’s cynical partner Dave is also more jealous and demanding than any mistress. Unfortunately, he is still Jack’s partner, so when Dave hatches a wild cowboy plan to bring down a new Japanese gang operating in town, the married cop reluctantly follows his lead.

Of course, Dave’s play turns out spectacularly badly. Jack can’t remember how, but he wakes up three days later with a nasty reaver hang-over, covered in blood, near Dave’s dead body. Suddenly, he is a fugitive on the run and Beth is ominously missing. Thanks to the reaver, Jack starts experiencing time in a displaced, non-linear manner, which is disorienting, but possibly offers a chance to change things.

Strictly speaking,
Last Three Days is not a time-loop film, but fans of that kind of movie should enjoy the inventive twists Ulrich gives to similar elements. It is certainly fair to say Jack finds himself in a soft-science fiction Hell, considerably but not entirely of his own making. Frankly, it is an admirably ambitious script, but the cast, led by former soap star Robert Palmer Watkins, does not do it justice. The undeniable standout is Thomas Wilson Brown, who oozes slime and chews the scenery with gusto as dubious Dave.

Throughout the film, Ulrich devises clever ways to spring a number of revelations. His use of C.S. Lewis’s
The Four Loves is also a surprisingly literate motif (sadly, it is hard to believe many universities would use it as an assigned text, under the current hyper-ideological academic climate, but that is society’s fault, not Ulrich’s). It isn’t perfect, but those of us who see a lot of independent genre films will be impressed he managed to do something new. Recommended for fans who dig time-looping and fracturing, Last Three Days releases this Friday (11/13) on VOD.