Popular culture has an affinity with crime, often fiction romanticises the outlaw, the thief, and even the murderer. Yet the crimes in real-life would earn scorn from the community. Even fiction has dabbled in scenarios to eliminate crime, even if their methods proposed, while possibly enticing, are not as ethical. In 2020, a graphic novel adaptation delved into the ethics, all while putting together a heist caper that would go down in the legacy of criminal undertakings, in The Last Days of American Crime.
In 2024, America has rolled out a new neural implant, one that makes it impossible for a citizen to commit unlawful acts. Some see the sunny shores of Canada as a bastion of freedom. Relatively small fry crook Graham Bricke however, wants one final attempt at the big score, before midnight roles over. To set him up for life and get revenge on the government that may have killed his brother. He assembles a unique crew, consisting of Kevin, a mobster heir, who may have known his brother from his time in the cells and Shelby, a computer hacker who may have ties with the government. Each of them banding together to take on the city’s mint, located deep in the city and is heavily fortified, of course. This heist will need cunning and ample amounts of brute force to pull off. As capers go, this one is for the history books.
Based on a graphic novel, The Last Days of American Crime is inventive in its premise and setting. In places, it reminds me of Dredd, and it is not because they share similar filming locations. Focusing on the depths of its gritty world and counterbalanced with the height of luxury in criminal penthouses, despite taking place not that long in the future the areas that the characters inhabit does how a futuristic quality that sets it apart from contemporary crime dramas. It is also safe to say that The Last Days does not hold back, violence, drugs etc. With a variety of scenes that take place in nightclubs, casual hook-ups in restrooms, all the way down to prison fight clubs and the assault itself.
Twisty with motivations and betrayals, as the team that Bricke assembles is tangled with their love and hatred of each other. Suffice to say, it helps keep the stakes high. As the cast does well in their roles, especially Michael Pitt playing rich-kid Kevin, who also wants to make a name for itself instead of being remembered as just a crime lord’s son. Along with the enigmatic Shelby played by Anna Brewster, who has more than one reason to get involved in this caper. But this adaption does not rely exclusively on relationships and remembers to deliver a high-octane cocktail of gunfights and explosions. Particularly an ending set-piece that involves a daring crescendo of car-based action. It is emblematic of a film that pushes to eleven almost everything that it does.
The Last Days of American Crime lives up to its bold title by delivering an adaptation that certainly is not afraid to hold back. An intriguing premise and delivers an action caper for those who want more, While its length does seem intimidating, it does pack a lot, while making you feel reminiscent of other great sci-fi action films that have come before it while delivering its ideas. As it stands, The Last Days of American Crime is a climactic conclusion of one of the most infamous professions.
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