The Last Thing he Wanted

Showing on Netflix.

Adapted from Joan Didion’s novel The Last Thing he Wanted supposedly tells the story of Anne Hathaway’s Elena McMahon, an investigative journalist who is working on stories of fighting in Nicaragua and wants to understand the US’s part in this as well as other conflicts. She then finds herself pulled from the story and sent to follow Reagan’s election campaign where we come across Ben Affleck’s Treat Morrison, some kind of politician identified for bigger things.

Elena’s life is then changed when her estranged father (Willem Dafoe) becomes ill and shares with her a big business deal that will be “the one”, however it would seem his business is gun running. Elena then inexplicably decides she can do some gun running on his behalf, this amazingly doesn’t end well, with me so far?

I said at the beginning of the synopsis “supposedly that’s what it’s about” because if that description sounds unclear and convoluted that’s nothing compared to what unfolds on screen. From the minute we hear Hathaway’s mumbled narration which makes no sense the film lurches from one unclear plot line to another. It feels like the film was cut into 100 segments, which were then randomly stuck together to produce the finished article.

Even with a talented cast Hathaway, Affleck, Dafoe supported by Rosie Perez and Toby Jones amongst others, there is no saving this mess of a film, incoherent dialogue, no discernible plot, a series of random events that may or may not be linked to each other and a twist at the end, that may or not be a twist depending on whether you’ve understood the preceding 100 minutes or so.

There is some enjoyment in Hathaway’s performance and a fun cameo from Toby Jones but there is no saving of this film, maybe it’s a work of misunderstood genius but I doubt it. I’d imagine the last thing he wanted was the same as the rest of us, to not have to watch this film.

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