Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Last Resort, More Thai Action from Jon Foo

It is nice to see some filmmakers resist the temptation of virtue-signaling. Of course, even if Jean-Marc Mineo made a show of cutting ten minutes of “gun violence” from his latest film (like James Cameron claims he did), there would still be one-hundred six minutes of guns blazing left. Basically, the other two minutes consists of our hero sitting on the couch watching cartoons. He has been difficult for his wife and daughter to live with since he came home from a mission-gone-bad, but when terrorists take his family hostage, he immediately reverts to action-mode in Mineo’s Last Resort, which opens this Friday in theaters.

Michael Reed was left for dead in Syria, but it was his captors who ended up dying. Since then, he has been such a mope around the house, his wife Kim is planning to leave him. She even went to the bank with their daughter Anna to open her own account. Unfortunately, they are taken hostage by a group of Islamic terrorists led by Cooper, a ruthless mercenary. It turns out they are really after a WMD stashed in one of the safety deposit boxes. Of course, Cooper thinks he can stall and deceive the Bangkok police, but Reed easily infiltrates the bank and starts knocking off Cooper’s gun-toting extremists, one by one.

Last Resort is not exactly original (the Die Hard elements are so obvious, they hardly need pointing out), but it goes about its business with gusto. It delivers dozens of shoot-outs and fight scenes that are all executed with energy and clarity. This is quality VOD-action workmanship. Mineo and much of the cast and crew previously collaborated on Bangkok Revenge. Since then, they have learned to play to their strengths. There is considerably less extraneous drama in Last Resort, and even more action.

The London-raised Irish-Chinese Jon Foo (a.k.a. Jonathan Patrick Foo) has the right moves and physicality, while also brooding well enough when barking at Cooper. Clayton Norcross, who starred in the soap
The Bold and the Beautiful in the late 1980s, makes a terrific villain as the arrogant, sociopathic Cooper. Unfortunately, Julaluck Ismalone does not get to show off any action chops playing Kim Reed (unlike Bangkok Revenge), but Foo and Norcross supply more than enough to keep viewers distracted.

As if all the “gun violence” were not “triggering” enough, the bad guys in
Last Resort truly are Islamist terrorists, which makes it even less woke and even more refreshing. Apparently, we have to import films like this from Thailand. Again, it isn’t fancy, but it is entertaining, in a meathead kind of way. Recommended for fans of red-meat action movies, Last Resort opens this Friday (1/6) at the Glendale Laemmle.