The Last Days of American Crime: A tale of how a signal wipes out crime forever

Have you ever heard of a nationwide radio signal that somehow can effectively short-circuit the human brain whenever it thinks of doing something illegal? Yes, this is what Netflix's action-packed movie, "The Last Days of American Crime" about.

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It’s hard to be surprised by just how mundane Netflix’s Last Days Of American Crime is. The film, directed by Olivier Megatron and scripted by one time Stranger Things showrunner Karl Gajdusek, is reminiscent of the standard action flicks of the late eighties and nineties that would feature Hollywood A list men Keaton, Willis in roles far below their pay grade.

Actor Edgar Ramirez deserves better!

Now, Joy actor Edgar Ramirez who has worked in Hollywood for quite some time and has yet to make it big, finds himself in a similar predicament. Judging by his latest film The Last Day Of American Crime’s uncommonly poor Rotten Tomatoes score, a 0% if you can believe it, his big break will definitely not be this Netflix catastrophe.

In actor Edgar Ramirez, the film finds a capable and more diverse lead role than you would have expected in past films in this genre. For what its worth, the actor is a significant lead and deserves to find work outside of supporting roles in movies or leads in poorly conceived feature films such as this.

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Even so, his stoic alpha male lead isn’t too exciting to watch, and the actor isn’t able to put a particularly clever spin on the role so that it would be bearable. Unfortunately, he is the one bright spot in an otherwise straight-up disaster of a movie.

The Last Days of American Crime: A tale of a dystopian version of tomorrow

Adapted from Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini’s 2009 graphic novel of the same name, “The Last Days of American Crime” takes place in a dystopian version of tomorrow where the United States government is set to unleash something called the American Peace Initiative: A nationwide radio signal that somehow can effectively short-circuit the human brain whenever it thinks of doing something illegal.

Anyone who has crime on their mind gets caught very quickly. So, before the API can be permanently put into effect, Ramirez’s character Graham Bricke decides to avenge his brother’s murder and get away with one last crime before he escapes to Canada.

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There is also the matter of the police being given immunity with single implants and one bizarre arc featuring a violent cop that turns up at the end of the movie for some godforsaken reason; if any of this sounds like a bunch of random subplots stitched into a single story, then you’d be right on the money.

Inspired from other movies in the genre?

There are often films that derive a lot from others but can get away with it by the sheer charm of attaining some semblance of self-awareness. Think Joker drawing from Taxi Driver or heck, Teefa in Trouble trying to imitate all the early 2010 Bollywood films.

Read more: Teefa in Trouble: Cinematography at its best

Films that take inspiration from other movies don’t always deserve to be accused because the truth is that they are sometimes too far apart or updated enough to get away with borrowing from other works. The irony of the Last Day of American Crime is that it fails at being a bad action movie.

There are plot holes galore in the film – the biggest one being the illogicality of the API machine that sometimes doesn’t seem to be operational or lets people get away with crimes – but it is ultimately its directionless and weak spirit that breaks the movie.

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Not attracting many audiences: bad timing or something else?

The big elephant in the room is that the movie’s release date coincided with the protests around America. Eventually, the world regarding Black Lives Matter and the movie’s cheap take on fascism and police brutality only rubbed people the wrong way.

Still, bad timing aside, there’s very little in the form of compliments that one can give to a movie this drab. None of the supporting cast has anything to add to the mix either, and the result is a movie that would have been left better on the drawing board.

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While The Last Day Of American Crime may enjoy more views here and there thanks to the quarantined captive audience bored and subscribed to Netflix. The film is unlikely to appeal to heist fan thrillers and viewers may find out that the movie’s biggest crime is its banality.

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