Last Moment of Clarity review – neo-noir in double trouble


March. 02, 2021

B rothers Colin and James Krisel and/or actor Zach Avery must be either very well financed or ridiculously persuasive because they’ve managed to pull together a supporting cast and budget for this debut thriller that far exceeds what the script seems to warrant. At heart, Last Moment of Clarity is a slight, imaginatively thin B-movie which doesn’t so much as allude to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Vertigo as outright steal from them brazenly, ending up with a limp neo-noir that unfolds in the streets of Paris and classy apartments in Los Angeles. There are cameos from Brian Cox and Udo Kier , both great scene-stealing actors with many virtues other than accent mimicry, judging by the bizarre Scots-French mashup Cox tries out here that is only a hair’s breadth better than Kier’s eastern European-German gangster stylings.
In any case, each of them appears only fleetingly; the bulk of the running time features Avery as a schlubby guy from New York named Sam who is hiding out in Paris. Sam mooches about the streets and works for bar owner Cox, all the while mourning the loss of his girlfriend, Georgia (Samara Weaving), who died at the hands of some lesser gangsters who work for Kier’s character, for reasons only gradually revealed. When he sees an actor named Lauren in a movie who looks just like Georgia, he becomes convinced that the two women are one and the same, and flies to La La Land to find out.
Enter Kat, played by the mesmeric Carly Chaikin, who ends up palling up with Sam, giving Chaikin a chance to play another variation on the manic pixie dream girl type she played in Mr Robot. The script is full of such daft coincidences you keep expecting there will be a clever twist to explain – but no, it really is that lazily written. At least the cinematography (by Andrew Wheeler) has atmosphere and the Parisian shots are pretty.
• Available from 8 March on digital formats.
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