The Last Saint


Action / Crime / Drama


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kosmasp 7 / 10

A different sort of Saint

Don't expect this to not be violent, because of its title. It might be a bit misleading if you read too much into it. But what it is, is an action thriller (Drama), that packs a punch. For a low budget movie this is more than decent. It might take a couple of things on and therefor lose some of its audience/viewers, being too unfocused for them, but you can't blame it for setting its goals too low.

It also achieves being suspenseful. This only works if you get a feeling for our main character, which I think is really possible, with the structure of the movie and the acting in it. The human side of it, is what holds this above water and makes it more than just another independent movie. It almost feels like a personal story (dealing with family issues and all, apart from finally stepping into adulthood and "grow up") ...

Reviewed by Tom Dooley 7 / 10

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in a dysfunctional New Zealand.

Minka is 'a good boy' he doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs. He also has to look after his drug dependant mother who redefines the word 'mess'. He is trying to hold it together with no help from the authorities then his long lost father shows up. This is Joe and he is far from paternalistic. He runs a lap dancing joint and introduces Minka to the seedy underbelly of New Zealand culture but with a Tongan twist.

That is when his coming of age begins and he has to deal with the drugs, alcohol, sex and violence that go with that 'scene' and his hormones plus the familial strife.

Now this is sold on its 'unrelenting violence', and there is some but it is done in a realistic way and it is the fear that is more terrifying and there are some show stopping performances especially from Joseph Naufahu ('Spartacus: War of the damned') as the rather mental Pinball. This is a bit 'nothing new to see here' in that we have all seen films with the same or similar plot lines. However, they do this really well and it is a totally independent effort that has the feel of quality for the most part and had me fair gripped for the most part so is one I would recommend.

Reviewed by FlashCallahan 7 / 10

A boy grows up.........

Teenage Minka is trying to care for his drug-dependent mother. His plight introduces him to three men, including his estranged father, Joe, who make great promises, but even greater risks.........

Joe, is a drug dealer and strip-club owner who sets up his son to work for the paranoid, psychotic drug dealer Pinball......

When you need help, and have nowhere to turn to, in an ideal world, you'd hire the A- team. But it's the real world here, and Minka is confined to a life like no other teenager.

He looks after his mentally ill, drug addicted mother, and money is short, so he begins to work for his dad, who is a salt of the earth type, be nice to him, and he will begrudgingly help. Cross him, and he will crush you.

Like most coming of age dramas featuring a strong, yet weak minded lead character, Minka goes through the three predictable stages during the films duration. Impressionable, the trapping stage, where he is in too deep to escape, and finally, the transformation, where he is almost brainwashed in changing his whole personality.

Kudos for the makers to almost fully independently fund the project, it gives it that dramatic grit that really helps the film, and some of the camera-work is almost intrusive, using it in a way where you feel like your in the room, such as when we first meet pinball.

There are some tropes in the film that appear in these family crime dramas. One that is most recognisable is the family night out, mum and dad have tried to bury the hatchet for one night, but there are a couple of men who are ridiculing Joe. And just like Goodfellas 'shine box' scene, they pay a second visit to the bar that night.

It has a feel of Once Were Warriors mixed with Michael Mann's Collateral, the night scenes are full of terror and the unknown, much like Minka feels on that first night.

It's an impressive film, the cast are wonderful, but it does have that 'seem it all before' charm to it.

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