One Last Chance (tbc)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/10/2003

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Sweet black comedy with good characters, some nice one-liners and a number of decent gags.

One Last Chance is a black comedy in the vein of Palookaville, about three small-town losers dreaming of a way out of their no-horse town. Originally entitled The Bum’s Rush (can you see what they did there?), the film is the first feature from Scottish writer-director Stewart Svaasand.

Arse End Of Nowhere

Jamie Sives (from Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself) plays Fitz, a young layabout in the small town of Tullybridge in the arse-end of the Scottish Highlands. Dreaming of getting out, he dreads Christmas because that’s the time “when every bastard who’s ever left comes back for their annual gloat”. However, Fitz has a plan – he and his long-term girlfriend (Neve McIntosh, who was in TV’s Psychos) are planning to put his father into a retirement home and move to Glasgow.

There’s just one snag – the eighteen month waiting list can only be jumped by slipping the official a bribe of £1000. So, when Fitz and his two best friends Seany (Kevin McKidd) and Nellie (Iain Robertson) discover a nugget of gold, they think it could be the answer to all their problems, little realising that their problems are only just beginning.

Well Written And Amusing Characters

The characters are well-written and the acting is good, with Sives cementing his ‘up and coming’ reputation. McKidd is as good as always and Robertson (who’s probably best known for a brilliantly villainous turn in a season of Grange Hill) is amusing as the put-upon Nellie.

There’s also good support from James Cosmo (as the local Mr Big, who puts Fitz further into debt), Jimmy Chisholm (as Harry, a seedy local businessman who encourages Seany to join the Mason-like ‘curling club’) and Dougray Scott (who also executive produced) in a small role as ‘Frankie the Fence’, a man “who didn’t get his name through being noncommittal in an argument”.

The film isn’t quite as snappy as it could have been and drags a little in the middle – it’s also slightly let down by a less than exciting climax. However, the characters are likeable enough to make up for the film’s minor faults.

In short, One Last Chance is a well-made, nicely acted, amiable comedy that succeeds thanks to its well-written characters. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 22/10/2017 23:51

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