Tag Archives: Mike Mendez

The Last Heist (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

THE LAST HEIST

Director: Mike Mendez
Writer: Guy Stevenson
Stars: Henry Rollins, Torrance Coombs, Victoria Pratt 

Plot:  A bank Robbery goes terribly wrong when one of the hostages turns out to be a wanted serial killer

Running Time: 1 hour 24 minutes

IMDB Score: 3.5

Why I watched it: B-Movie, decent plot idea and Henry Rollins.

Thoughts: Henry Rollins has turned himself into a solid genre actor, He’s done some good work and a lot it his charisma and he’s a solid presence an he can be scary.

What I liked: The idea is the best thing about the movie, it’s a Die Hard knockoff in a way but instead of a cop being trapped it’s a serial killer, and that could have really worked especially in a B-Movie setting and you add Henry Rollins has a serial killer who keeps his victims eyes in a safety deposit box then how could you loose.

The other actor I liked in this is Victoria Pratt who plays the lead cop, it’s a thankless role but she’s a good actor and she brings humour and a sexiness to the part.

What I didn’t like: The script and budget killed this movie, also it needed to be tighter.  The idea of a bank hold up, with hostages but there’s also a serial killer in the bank is cool but here it’s handled so badly it’s almost laughable and some of the secondary actors are that bad where you just might laugh.  This is lazy writing, all their ideas went on the plot and not fleshing out characters.  Every character is a cliche and really they don’t explore the Rollins character enough, he’s a secondary character and he should be front and centre.  They take the main idea and they stick it in a standard bank hostage movie.

Having one of the bank robbers and one of the bank employees brothers didn’t help cause it just forced melodrama that the movie didn’t need.  Even under 90 minutes this film dragged, the pacing is off and really with a serial killer involved with this I can’t understand how this film has no tension whatsoever.

The other bad thing is the film seems cheap, some movies hid they had no budget, not this one it reeks of a small budget.  Money could have helped in a lot of areas, the setting doesn’t seem like a bank, I get it’s small town but come on lets do some production design here.  This film just looks like and seems second rate.

Final Thoughts: except for Victoria Pratt, and some of the stuff Rollins got to do I didn’t care for this movie at all.  A missed opportunity to make a fun and ballsy B-Movie.

Rating: 3/10

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Don’t Kill It (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

DON'T KILL IT

Director: Mike Mendez
Writers: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Kristina Klebe, Elissa Dowling

Plot:  An ancient demon terrorizes a tiny Mississippi town.
Running Time: 1 hour 23 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score:  Critics 89%   Audience 38%

Why I watched it: It’s a horror film it has Dolph Lundgren, it’s called Don’t Kill It, this is my wheelhouse and then some.

Thoughts: Now I will say the Rotten Tomatoes Score of 89% is high cause I lot of critics haven’t reviewed it and I think that’s a problem for a small film like this, make no mistake this is a throwback film and these kinds of films do become cult films but they take some time to find their audience, it needs word of mouth.

What I liked: This is the kind of movie I enjoy watching call it what you like, a popcorn movie, a B-Movie, a guilty pleasure for me it’s just fun, when I said this was a throw back movie I’m not lying, this reminds me of the late 80′s early 90 films, like The Hidden or even I come in peace.

I give director Mike Mendez a ton of credit he didn’t have a big budget so he went with what he had, Dolph and a ton of gore and violence.  The short running time is good cause the film keeps a pretty good pace and yes there is a ton of violence.

Dolph Lundgren is good here he’s a very likeable presence and he’s so comfortable with himself his acting is effortless. Dolph and the film are smart enough not to take themselves too seriously, this is very much winking at the audience at times.  The best part of the gimmick is the creature or demon movie from body to body when it’s killed and it goes to the person who kills it, a neat idea that they have a lot of fun with. Dolph actually has a really cool net gun, yes a net gun.  One of the best things for me was that they made Dolph Lundgren’s character more than just a cliche, he has a back story and I like the fact that he plays weary, he’s been doing this a long time.

What I didn’t like: The lack of budget hurt the film big time and you can tell this was a quick shot, if they had more time and money this would easily be a cult film.  The acting is not great and some of the practical effects are very iffy.  I was kind of let down by Kristina Klebe she’s not a bad actress but is miscast here, she feels like she’s in another film, she’s not having the fun Lundgren is.

The ending is a little weak and they kind of reached to stretch it a bit, I think the lack of money really hurt here, it needed to be bigger and louder.

Final Thoughts: It was a fun watch and I liked it, it could have been a bit better but for what it was I had fun with it.  If you’re a genre fan it’s worth a watch.

Rating: 6/10