THE LAST SEVEN

3 out of 10

Released: 27 August 2010

Director:  Imran Navqi

Cast: Tamer Hassan, Simon Phillips, Daisy Head, Sebastian Street, John Mawson, Rita Ramnani with Danny Dyer and Ronan Vibert

Writer:  John Stanley

Trailer:  THE LAST SEVEN

Will there ever be a good Tamer Hassan / Danny Dyer movie ever again?  Judging from this, I’m in for a long wait.  Should I go to their rescue with a script that frees them from bollocks like this?  I’m hankering for the now cult flick The Business of course. I think that was their 2nd film together but since then there have been about six or seven.  Everytime I see one I give it a look hoping to be entertained once more.  Sadly it looks like The Business was the pinnacle of this fetid partnershit. I mean partnership.  Nick Love, please bail them out!  Well on to the film in question which isn’t that offensive.  It’s just (sigh)…. well read on.

It’s probably safe for me to say that this can be filed alongside Dead Cert and Devil’s Playground in the lame British sci-fi horror box.  The Last Seven is an intially intriguing riff on The Quiet Earth and Jacob’s Ladder but swiftly descends into unintentional hilarity and boredom. Twist and turns in the plot are telegraphed by an overwrought soundtrack and a sluggish pace that enables the viewers to be streets ahead of any of the characters.  The acting is a very mixed bag, it ranges from terrible to OK.  Nobody involved stands out, the script handcuffs their roles to trudinging around some empty streets for what makes the running time seem like a day.

The plot involves seven people, seemingly connected somehow, who awake in the financial district of London to find that they are very much alone in the world.  As they try to unravel the mystery they are picked off one by one by the “angel of death”, ludicrously played by Danny Dyer (THE TRENCH) dressed in a bloodstained blindfold and a leather jacket.  Luckily the most annoying and worst actor is picked off first.  I was hoping proceedings would improve after that but sadly this under cooked bore of a sci-fi shuffles along to its sorry and easy to guess conclusion.  We see Tamer Hassan (THE REVEREND – 2012) swear a lot and bicker with the other strandees.  The lead Simon Phillips (JACK SAYS) adds some shade to a one dimensional role and his is the closest to a good performance here.  A low budget is no excuse for a film to be as dull as this though. Take Exam, Cube, Storage 24 or Moon by comparison. All you need are confident  actors, a good idea, a brilliant script, all of which are missing in action on this occassion.

To sum up, The Last Seven is a missed opportunity for what could have been a tense little horror movie. It’s mostly let down by a dreadful script that strands the inexperienced actors and leaves them bumbling around one of the dullest parts of London.  There are no standout performances although Tamer Hassan  is more subdued than you’d expect considering the situation his character is in. The villain is crap, this must rank as one of Danny Dyer’s worst performance and he doesn’t even have any word!  In the DVD extras the actors praise the script as being totally out of this world, original and mind blowing.  Mind numbing more like. One of out of favour director M Night Shymalyan’s (THE SIXTH SENSE) poos could write something better than this brain dead drivel.  Film entertainment at it’s dullest.  Oh yeah and what was that really silly coda all about? Actually, who cares?

3 out of 10 – Angels of Death? I sh*t ’em….

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE? 

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One thought on “THE LAST SEVEN

  1. review by JOE PESCI II “funny how?”

    One day I’ll wake from the nightmare. No more fear. No longer will Simon Philips and Tamer Hassan be there, at every turn, at every non-waking moment. There must be an escape. Odd that I can identify so closely with the ‘characters’ of THE LAST SEVEN and yet care not one jot for any of them. For a moment, after STRIPPERS VS WWEREWOLVES I thought the curse might lift, but no, I am back in the quagmire of ropey British cinema. And Simon Philips is there again. And Tamer Hassan. And Danny Dyer. Will I never wake?
    Seven, they are seven. Seven is a good number. Good enough for Blake (even though he generally had eight or five depending on how you count these things but this is not the place to discuss the minutiae of cult TV sci-fi). And it was good enough for Enid Blyton’s secret society of smuggler-busters.It was also good enough for whoever made Danny Dyer non-vehicle SEVEN LIVES. Still, 7, a good number.
    Simon Philips wakes up. He’s on the ground somewhere in the City of London (the finance bit). It’s deserted. This is meant to be weird. But it’s always deserted in the Barbican, Moorgate, Farringdon bit of London on a Sunday, unless you’re popping along to the Barbican Centre for a spot of cultural enlightenment, so that doesn’t seem all that weird at all. I was just watching it thinking ‘I bet they filmed all this on a Sunday morning’. Anyway, he’s all alone. For minutes. So he decides to kill himself. But a drunk government minister stops him. Then Tamer Hassan bullies him a bit and some girl with a stupid hat welded to her bonce wheedles a bit, and then they run into another soldier, some mad religious nut and a foreigner. None of them can remember what happened. And no-one can offer a guess as to what is happening (actually that’s a lie, someone guesses exactly what’s going on really early on to throw us off the scent). The film progresses slowly, and memories piece back together and the terrible truth emerges.
    Sometimes I feel it necessary not just to give away spoilers (so long as the fact is advertised) but to also give away the whole film. This is a rare strategy on my part, but a necessary one when this particular turkey is under discussion.
    Let’s unravel the plot. Government minister Ronan Vibert’s daughter is kidnapped. The military organise a rescue by Sebastian Street and Tamer Hassan. Surprise surprise, it all ends in tears as Hassan kills the girl after mistaking her for her own kidnapper. Another government minister (John Mawson), who sanctioned the rescue attempt, sweeps it under the carpet. Meanwhile Simon Philips is a fearless journalist who is on the case. He makes a date with Rita Ramnani (who works with Vibert’s wife) in order to find stuff out. At the restaurant they meet (Philips’ hair dyed red for some non-plot based reason). Also at the same restaurant are Mawson, Street and Hassan doing the ‘let’s pretend this never happened’ deal. And Mawson’s teenage daughter (Daisy (daughter of Anthony Head) Head has turned up basically to annoy dad (Mawson not Giles from BUFFY – he’s her real dad and we’re concerned with the fiction of the film here – keep up.)Then Vibert turns up. He’s unhappy and blows them all up with a home-made bomb. This is where the film starts. If I was being charitable I’d say that the film-makers sift through the film’s narrative as an investigator might sift through the fragments of the bomb, and slowly the lives and memories of those concerned converge, and we see how the bomb has shattered these irrevocably interleaved lives. Alas the moment we realise they all know each other is also the moment we realise they’re all dead and in some sort of dull purgatory, and this happens pretty early on. Curiously, unless I’m being extremely dense, the little girl’s kidnapper doesn’t seem to be on hand to receive any justice in this afterlife.
    Films like this stand and fall on three fronts: script, acting, atmosphere. Well, sadly it takes more than ‘eerie’ silences and a few quick sequences of blood and death to build atmosphere. As for the script, here are my favourite lines of dialogue:
    ‘Total metropolitan lockdown. Which can only mean one thing. A dirty bomb. Or a bio-strike.’ Poor Tamer Hassan.
    ‘And losing our heads could be fatal.’ Poor Sebastian Street.
    ‘We were outside then we came inside then we went back outside and then we came back inside.’ Poor Simon Philips. That’s a pretty accurate description of most of the action though.
    This means a great deal is riding on the shoulders of the cast. Allow me to assassinate assess them now.
    Simon Philips is too self-conscious: as he walks the deserted streets he looks like someone trying to act, aware of the cameras; he does not convince as someone slowly beginning to believe he is the last man on earth.
    Daisy Head is sulky and brattish and it’s surprising that we’re meant to be surprised at learning the identity of her father. She has yet to learn how to swear properly. Or act, for that matter. But at least she’s young, and may well improve.
    Which cannot be said for John Mawson (aforementioned surprise dad), giving a performance as a drunk (probably Tory) government minister which makes Alan B’stard look subtle. He’s awful, though the script doesn’t help, and seems to think he’s in some sort of spoof of a PG Wodehouse. Who is this man and can I hit him?
    Tamer Hassan is unusually subdued, as if he’d been told he could play with Danny Dyer on this one but then found out it was Danny’s day off. He also has the world’s longest wee.
    Sebastian Street is exasperated and proper and not remotely convincing as someone taking charge of the situation (though to be fair, he’s not supposed to be).
    Ronan Vibert – the poor man’s Alan Rickman. (Presumably they wanted Rickman but he was too expensive or busy doing nothing as usual, what happened to you man?)He’s sullen, irritating, and not Alan Rickman.
    Rita Ramnani seems to be there to make up the numbers (to seven).
    And what do we make of Danny Dyer’s role and performance? Blindfolded for the most part, and with only a brief voice-over to deliver (which he mangles through over-enunciation designed to sound like emphatic truth), Dyer still somehow fails. I wish it were not so. He’s restoring balance apparently, which is best done through gouging eyes out. You see, Danny Dyer plays an angel of death! And yet he still somehow manages to be Danny Dyer.
    THE LAST SEVEN seems to draw on a number of British films from the 1940s like AN INSPECTOR CALLS (they all have some measure of blame or at least involvement), and the one where they’re in a house and they’re dead but they don’t know it (I think JB Priestley wrote that one as well) and there’s also a bit of DEAD OF NIGHT in the structure here. Please, seek out these aged Ealing-type films. They’re much better.

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