Before Last Night

"Terrible"

Before Last Night Review


What do you get when you throw a bunch of college preppies together with a video camera, a budget of about $32, and a crime drama storyline that makes even the cheesiest episode of Miami Vice look profound? A little more than two hours of cinematic agony.

Eli (Tyson Hooser) is a young skater with a cash-flow problem. But when his friend Shawn (Elsa Bigelow) introduces him to The Boss (Jimmie Jennings), his money problems appear to be over. That is, until a couple of The Boss's goons double-cross him on his first job.

Shot on video with a cast of locals in Gainesville, Florida, Before Last Night is a testament to what a few people can accomplish with almost no money. It's surprisingly well edited, with some reasonably strong camera work. And the soundtrack, though maddeningly repetitive, is about as expertly composed as any you could hope to find in such a low-budget independent film. Plus, the couple of chase scenes that constitute the action of the film are actually sort of well done, even if they're not remotely believable.

Unfortunately, it's also as bad a case of naïve scripting and riotously bad acting as you could ever hope for. About the only remotely believable character in the film is Eli, who is supposed to be ignorant and naïve. But the gaggle of supposedly hard-boiled characters surrounding him are stupendously laughable.

The award for most amusing representation of a hardcore gangster I've ever seen goes to Jimmie Jennings as The Boss. It would be unfair to single Jennings out for his acting in a film this bereft of talent, but every thuggish threat he delivers falls flat. It's practically impossible to imagine him as anything more than a jovial bodybuilder. But even more absurd is the pair of pretty boys who play The Boss's hired thugs, Tyler (Justin Weathers) and Eddie (Brad Harwood). These two couldn't punch their way out of a paper bag. It's difficult to care about Eli's plight for any length of time when this bunch of gangsters doesn't look seem remotely capable of kicking anyone's ass. Most of the cast will probably end up grounded if their parents find out how much swearing they've done in this movie.

The only element of Before Last Night that's intentionally amusing is the series of parody furniture commercials that run on TV screens in various scenes throughout the film. And, if you stick around long enough, you can watch them in their entirety after the closing credits.

With all that said, Alexander Davidowski's achievement in simply seeing this film through to distribution deserves some applause. It's nigh impossible to make a feature-length film with a local cast and no budget, and the fact that this movie was made at all speaks volumes for the writer/director's determination. I'd like to see what he could do if he actually had some resources to work with.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 93 mins

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

IMDB: 4.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.