Movie Review: “Die Hard” in a Bangkok Bank? “Last Resort”

What a difference a few days makes.

If they’d released “Last Resort,” a clumsily-copied “Die Hard” knockoff, by Dec. 31, it might have made a few critics’ “Worst of the Year” list.

It’s badly-written and amateurishly-acted, so amateurishly that one feels sorry for much of the cast. Carpetbagging French filmmaker Jean-Marc Minéo, who works out of Thailand and whose resume has a whiff of Steven Segal about it, convinced his backers that they should film this clunker in English.

On top of all the recycled “Die Hard” plot points, viewers are forced to listen to performers phonetically sound-out their dialogue in not-quite-funny fractured English. Yes, they manage it better than you or I would be at speaking Thai, but come on.

“Wot de Hell you doin dere?” is about as good as it gets.

It’s an action vehicle for London-born actor/stunt-man Jon Foo, aka Jonathon Patrick Foo, co-star of the “Rush Hour” TV series of a few years back. He plays an “ex special forces” super-soldier whose wife (Julaluck Ismalone) is about to leave him. She’s at the bank, trying to close joint accounts with her daughter (Angelina Ismalone) when it is robbed.

The attackers are “Middle Eastern” which is “unfortunate,” a laughably apologetic bit of screenwriting. What, worried this won’t play in Dubai? The terrorists are led by some generic big American (Clayton Norcross). And there’s something that they want from the vault.

Only they can’t get in right away. It’ll take time. It’s a pity writer-director Minéo didn’t set this over Christmas. Then “Die Hard” screenwriters Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza could have sued him over it.

Our ex-special forces hero finally “gets up off the couch,” as his daughter puts it, turns off the public domain Popeye cartoons he’s watching, skips past police lines and starts interfering with the ninja-garbed villains’ evil plans in the banking high rise.

“My Dad is gonna come get me and you’re going to be in trouble!”

The problem with tackling a language for the first time on the set is you aren’t really performing lines, just struggling to get through one “clean” take without any pauses for emphasis or feeling imparted. This dogs every player outside of the leading men, the police commander communicating with our “soldier” included.

“Sir it’s not ‘Call of Duty’ here leave this to professionals!”

As for action, “Last Resort” (a terribly over-used title at this point) has a couple of top-notch brawls, but the first doesn’t pop off until we’re an hour into the movie.

If you haven’t given up on it long before that rolls around, you have my respect. It was hard enough for me, and I’m a professional, you know.

Rating: R (Bloody Violence|Language Throughout)

Cast: Jonathan Patrick Foo, Clayton Norcross, Julaluck Ismalone, Angelina Ismalone and David Ismalone

Credits: Scripted and directed by Jean-Marc Minéo. A Well Go USA/Saban Films release.

Running time: 1:48

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
This entry was posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news. Bookmark the permalink.