Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Last Supper (1995)

Starring Cameron Diaz, Ron Eldard, Annabeth Gish, Jonathan Penner, Courtney B. Vance, et al
Rated R, 92 minutes

“The Last Supper” is a film about five liberal college students who decide to take their views too far. After killing a viciously right-wing truck driver in self-defense, the group turn into murderers, luring guests with opposing viewpoints to dinner and killing them, under the banner of “stopping the Hitlers before they become Hitler.”

I had the benefit of seeing this with no advance knowledge of the plot. I mean, it came out before Cameron Diaz’s participation meant anything, and drew less than $500,000 at the box office. As such, it was a pleasant surprise when the truck driver threatened the lives of the punk college students. Didn’t see it coming. The five main actors almost audibly chewed up the scenery in the early goings. These broad characterizations helped the movie quickly evolve into a great dark comedy “what if” about extreme lefties taking matters into their own hands. It then took many steps backwards and turned into a generic mystery, with “Saturday Night Live” alum Nora Dunn, of all people, as the cop detective. The overacting started to wear on me again.

Jason Alexander and Bill Paxton appear as victims. Watching it today, their participation helps spruce up a movie that ends up disappointing. Ron Perlman more-than-ably plays a right-wing television pundit seen throughout the movie.


Development here was shallow. This movie needed to pick a genre. I really wanted to like it. I really wanted it to embrace its humor potential full force. Instead, “The Last Supper” took a more predictable route in showing the wrongs of extremist politics. Guess what? Our intolerable dinner party gets whacked.

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