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Overall Rating
3.8

Awesome: 15%
Worth A Look65%
Average: 10%
Pretty Bad: 5%
Total Crap: 5%

1 review, 14 user ratings


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Last Supper, The (1996)
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by Scott Weinberg

"Dark, topical and loaded with liberal leanings that I agree with entirely."
4 stars

Full of acidic wit and liberal social commentary, and not a whole lot else, is Stacy Title's surface-deep dark comedy "The Last Supper". Chock-full of simmering left-wing chest-thumping and heaping helpings of topical angst, the flick seems like a long and well-told joke; one that's enjoyable to listen to despite the lack of a truly resounding punchline. Consequently, how much you actually enjoy the film will most likely depend on how strongly you agree with the socio-political rhetoric spouted throughout.

As a hardcore liberal hippie-type, I had a pretty good time with The Last Supper.

As the movie opens, we're introduced to a collection of left-leaning graduate student hand-wringers. At their frequent dinner parties, the gang likes to wax on about the ills of society and the evils of corporate America. That the diatribes are compelling and presented by a handful of strong actors helps the flick immeasurably; with a lesser cast this group could prove insufferable to even the most ardent left-wing film fan.

When the clearly coddled collection of grad students (which includes among its ranks the likes of Ron Eldard, Cameron Diaz, Annabeth Gish and Courtney B. Vance) meet for their dinnertime chat sessions, the 'hot topic' issues are always the subject of conversation. Despite their collective passion about the ills of American society, they contend that the liberals talk a helluva game...yet never really DO much of anything.

In an effort to shed their self-created "pundits without power" label, the gang opts to invite various unseemly guests to join them for dinner - complete with arsenic-laced wine. As each successive victim is buried under the tomato plants in the backyard, the local sheriff (played with enjoyable intelligence by Nora Dunn) starts a'sniffin' around. That the cadre's criminal ways were incited by the accidental murder of a knife-wielding dinner guest falls by the wayside as each character begins to feel the joy of cold-blooded homicide. After all, they're only killing "evil folk" (i.e. sexists, racists, politicians and clergy) so there is a clear method to their madness.

Plus they're thrilled to realize that the Liberals are finally making a difference in the world.

Now this all sounds devilishly clever and darkly humorous, and The Last Supper surely is just that...but that's where it ends. Though the screenplay by Dan Rosen (The Curve) can't accurately be accused of wimping out with the lack of a big payoff - it just seems that the premise ruled the day and somehow a truly satisfying capper was left off of the To-Do list. The cast is uniformly strong (Vance particularly) and there is an unending rogue's gallery of colorful supporting cameos from actors like Bill Paxton, Charles Durning and Mark Harmon, so there's certainly plenty to enjoy here.

But what keeps The Last Supper from greatness is its inability to tie things up with any dramatic oomph. Each subsequent dinner guest gets to spout their own societal diatribe, the hosts seem unamused, the deathly wine is served...and then we move on to another dinner. This happens about five times, the subplot involving the sheriff is given irritatingly short shrift, and the flick doesn't so much end as it does peter out.

But overall The Last Supper is an effective and socially-minded dark comedy that has a little something to say about the age-old battle between Liberals and Conservatives, right-wing and left, haves and have-nots, persecutors and victims.

Plus it's a worthwhile choice when the Slob Comedies have worn out their welcome.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9542&reviewer=128
originally posted: 05/02/04 14:25:46
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User Comments

4/05/08 what The joke was on the protagonists themselves, that were as fascists as can be... 4 stars
1/22/08 Jim Liberal wish fulfillment. No plot, banal characters, trite dialog. Garbage on all levels. 1 stars
6/10/07 S?Gonzo Totally Enjoyed it all the way through... "Soo-real" 5 stars
5/05/07 Cindy Kind of frightening actually - never new liberals hated us that much! 2 stars
2/07/07 AJ Muller Hilarious. Kickass cast does pitch-black comedy. Go psycho liberals! 4 stars
8/04/06 molly laset I'm a conservative & I was fascinated by this movie the same way Jane Goodall was by apes. 4 stars
5/21/06 Don Edinger Mocking both political extremes, this movie works on several levels. 5 stars
2/13/06 Jon Ayling Pretty good, if single toned 4 stars
2/19/05 LilyM Pleasant surprise. Loved all the little cameos. 4 stars
2/14/05 cyndi I never knew liberals really think that is how consevatives are. 4 stars
8/02/04 Raf Milis This "little" movie is a piece of art. It blew me out of the water. Great work. Great End!! 5 stars
5/06/04 Monster W. Kung Pretty interesting. Not great by any stretch, but does its job. 3 stars
5/04/04 y2mckay Solid acting, dark, funny script and interesting premise, but falls apart in the third act. 3 stars
5/03/04 Viscous Nilbog Great dark comedy, excellent cast, a perfectly chilling end. Go Ron Perlman! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-Apr-1996 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Sep-1996


Directed by
  Stacy Title

Written by
  Dan Rosen

Cast
  Cameron Diaz
  Ron Eldard
  Annabeth Gish
  Courtney B. Vance
  Bill Paxton
  Ron Perlman



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