Last Night (1998) — A very Canadian apocalypse

“You’d better hurry up. Tell me something to make me love you.”

Justin’s rating: Guess they ran out of Willises and Afflecks to save the world

Justin’s review: Bad news kids: It’s the end of the world! Ahh! Nooo! Let’s go riot in the streets! Knock over a liquor store! Get sushi and not pay! Rip our clothes off and run down Broadway! Build a giant statue of Justin out of solid gold and sacrifice every bad actor and actress at its feet!

Oh, wait. We’re in Canada. Never mind then. Orderly conduct. Standard End-of-the-World procedures, eh? And pick up after yourself, man!

It’s the apocalypse. The last night on earth. How’s the world ending? They never say — the sky is constantly bright even into the evening hours, and at midnight, the whole shebang will come down. This isn’t a movie about how the world is going to end, it’s about how a few different people in Canada deal with their last hours. When the film opens, we’ve already passed the point where the hysteria and horror of it all has hit, leaving people to attempt to give their lives significance in their last few hours. It’s sort of like the entire planet is on Death Row, counting down the minutes together.

There’s a man from the gas company who is calling all of his customers to reassure them that the gas will be on until the end. One guy pimps himself out as a love maker, offering his services for free to whoever needs a little, ah, physical comfort in this time. A girl is trying to get to her husband, but her car is trashed — and she ends up meeting a man who just wants to spend his last hours alone. His sister and her boyfriend go to an end of the world party in the streets. All of these characters represent the different forces that would be pulling us along in this situation: loneliness, sex, comfort, family, duty, revelry, religion.

Yeah, buddy, this is a mellow flick. Yet, it’s mellow in a fun way. With this sort of abnormal situation, people are freed of social and moral conventions, and it gives us leave to imagine what we’d do with our final six hours. Depressing, but liberating.

It is a bit of torture to the geek in me that the whole scifi premise is never explained in the detail I’d like… but I understand why they didn’t make it the focus. I love the little touches, as the world these characters stumble through genuinely looks as if it’s been in the process of winding down for a bit. A crazy marathon runner here, a “Everything Must Go” sign on a store there. Once the situation of the film sinks into you as it has the characters, you‘re free to enjoy the weird discussions and far stranger situations as they do. Last Night is most assuredly different than your typical Friday night fare, but who needs typical when the world’s ending?

Didja notice?

  • The cop standing by while the car is trashed
  • Might as well open your Christmas presents now!
  • Candy cane?
  • Folk music is Socialist
  • You can afford to be picky when shopping for cars to jack
  • Cars peaked at around 1972
  • Man butt – just a warning
  • Mutual suicide when the world’s already ending. Yeah. That makes sense.

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