Last Orders (18)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner16/01/2002

Two out of five stars
Running time: 108 mins

Fred Schepisi’s latest film is based on Graham Swift’s Booker prize-winning novel and has a great cast, but is ultimately rather slow moving and dull.

There’s no doubt about it, director Fred Schepisi has assembled a stellar cast for his latest film, an adaptation of Graham Swift’s Booker-prize-winning novel Last Orders, about a group of ordinary sixty-something men getting together to scatter the ashes of one of their friends (Michael Caine).

However, despite the undeniable appeal of seeing Hoskins, Caine, Mirren et al sharing screen-time again, it doesn’t make up for the fact that the film is very slow and occasionally, unforgivably, rather dull.

The majority of the film concerns the friends reminiscing about the events of their lives as they travel from Bermondsey down to Margate to scatter Caine’s ashes. In the book, this works extremely well, as each character is seen from multiple viewpoints as the chapters progress.

Here, however, we have an ambitious series of multiple flashbacks (some only lasting a few seconds) that are occasionally confusing and in which, it has to be said, not an awful lot happens. It also doesn’t help that, occasionally, the actors playing the younger versions of the characters are simply not up to the job.

For the most part, the acting from the main characters is, as you’d expect, excellent, with Caine the standout and Winstone a close second. However, David Hemmings is a little too convincing as an alcoholic and is, in any case, frequently in danger of being out-acted by his own eye-brows, which look as if they’re about to fly away at any moment.

It is, of course, great to see Caine, Hoskins and Mirren onscreen again, but the fact that you can’t help but be reminded of Mona Lisa and The Long Good Friday only serves to point up just how little there is in the way of anything really happening here.

That’s not to say there aren’t a few enjoyable moments scattered here and there, with the group’s drunken pub rendition of Roy Orbison’s Blue Bayou the definite highlight. However, though the cast are always watchable, the film as a whole is too slow and flat to really grab you, though it’s entirely possible the film will mean more to older generations.

Be the first to review Last Orders...
01 Pride (15)

Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Imelda Sta...

02 What We Did on Our Holidays (12A)

David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, Anne...

03 The Guest (15)

Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Ethan Embry

04 A Most Wanted Man (15)

Grigoriy Dobrygin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Homayou...

05 A Walk Among the Tombstones (12)

Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, Boyd Holbrook

Content updated: 20/08/2014 19:30

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Lucy (15)

Scarlet Johannson stars as a woman whose brain power is exponentially increased after she ingests a powerful new drug.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films

Hot Tickets

Film 4 Summer ScreenFilm 4 Summer Screen

Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for August 2014, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital.