Netflixable? A Colombian Male Wish Fulfillment Fantasy — “The Last Man on Earth”

Here’s another variation on the shlub whose only shot at a beautiful woman is if he’s “The Last Man on Earth,” this one a movie and not a Fox TV series.

This wan Colombian comedy — “El Último Hombre Sobre La Tierra” in Spanish — is as hard up for laughs as our dumpy, gauche and crude anti-hero, the “little pest” all the ladies in the office nicknamed “Piquiña,” is for love.

Roberto, played by the comic Jhon Álex Toro, is loud. He’s unkempt and unwashed. He’s boorish. He crushes on the gorgeous exec Liliana (Laura Acuña), and gets drunk enough at the office Christmas party to A) interfere with her plans to get close to hunky Camilo (Rodrigo Candamill) and B) confess his hiccupping devotion to her in the most poetic words he can summon up.

“Not if you were the LAST MAN ON EARTH,” she says, which sounds even more final and deflating in Spanish (with subtitles) than it does in English.

But when she wakes up to a depopulated world — Rapture? Plot contrivance? — that vow will be put to a test.

Naturally, the place they run into each other is the liquor store. She’s looking for signs of life. He’s looking to stock up for a bender.

Unbathed Roberto tries to push past the “Piquiña” nickname to realize his heart’s desire, as they’re thrown together searching empty streets, stores and an empty amusement park where the rides are still spinning away into oblivion.

The fit and beautiful Liliana can’t talk him into bathing or eating the healthy way she does. But with a generous serving of alcohol provided by him, they wind up in bed. Bliss with a smirking “repopulate the Earth” gag barely has time to set in before her bubbly assistant Martha (Jeka Garces) shows up.

And their unhappy “love triangle” barely has time to register, with Martha discovering Roberto’s gifts in the sack, when yet another “last man” shows up.

Guess who?

The script is by veteran Colombian scribe Darío Armando García Granados, aka “Dago Garcia” aka DAGO. While he deserves kudos for flipping an ethnic slur on its ear, the author of “Penalty Kick” and other Colombian film and TV laughers doesn’t find anything new or funny to do with this material.

Toro vamps it up and his over-the-top gaucherie is the only thing here with even a prayer of generating a giggle. Candamil is almost amusing as the hunky stiff. But nobody here is given enough help by the script for this thing to play as funny or touching and surprising.

The production has a nice sparkle to it, as this version of End Times loses the people, but not the electricity or the things that make make civilization civil.

But the script was never more than an under-developed, unfinished idea before Netflix came along and threw money in Colombia’s direction, begging the locals to come up with something, anything, even rejects shoved into a drawer and never polished.

Rating: TV-MA, profanity, alcohol abuse, off-camera sex

Cast: Laura Acuña, Jhon Álex Toro, Rodrigo Candamill and Jeka Garces

Credits: Directed by Juan Camilo Pinzón, scripted by Darío Armando García Granados, aka “DAGO.” A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:29


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.