In the present day, a deadly virus plagues the world. John Wood (Daniel Stisten) is a dangerous man filled with pain and suffering. Thanks to flashbacks, we learn that John lost his wife during an interrogation, and the man responsible, Commander Stone (Daniel Nehme), managed to get away with it. Despite being held against his will, John managed to escape and gain freedom, but instead of returning to civilisation, he decided to run away and stay in a quiet cabin in the woods.
Life for John is generally peaceful, apart from recurring nightmares and visions that remind him about the murder of his wife and that the man responsible is still at large. He spends his days working around the cabin by chopping wood and staying in shape physically (to the point John Wood looks like a jacked-up version of Kurt Russell).
One day, a wounded woman on the run named Maria (Olga Kent) arrives at John’s cabin seeking help. Maria reveals that the same people that John escaped from are now trying to capture her. Olga also reveals to John that she has the cure to the virus within her blood. The men hunting her down will only use the cure for the wrong reasons. Now John is forced back into action, equipping himself with an axe, and lots of guns and ammo to take on the leading Commander Stone and his team. But this time, the war is on his battlefield.
Last Man Down is best described as a brainless action film. Combining elements from Rambo and even films like The Marine, the film attempts to be highly serious and deep. Still, everything on screen comes across as highly cheesy and ultimately humorous.
The dialogue had my jaw dropping to the ground several times and felt more like a midday soap opera between characters. I laughed aloud on several occasions. The leading character enjoys speaking about love, life, and death with his deep-toned grizzled voice. Despite the deep topics, the conversations he has are always cringe-worthy and filled with long, uncomfortable pauses between lines. John, at times, is also not easy to understand. Although I laughed several times, I am certain the filmmakers were not trying to make a comedy.
The action is ok. Some scenes use slow motion, which is fun to watch visually even when what’s happening on screen is highly unrealistic. The camera follows each punch and kick at other times, resulting in fast, jerky, continual movement. I found these moments way less enjoyable to watch.
The plot is vague and highly questionable, with many gaps in its story. But with so many cheesy and cringe-worthy moments on display, the plot was the least of my worries as it was evident that the film itself didn’t care about the big details. The musical score is average and, at times, distracting and loud.
Overall, this is a film that is so bad, it’s good. Action films such as Rambo and The Marine gave birth to this movie. The film attempts to be serious with its dialogue, but it feels like a midday soap opera about a man seeking vengeance and dealing with pain. Action scenes are ok, but many scenes are certainly a hit or miss, and the plot is filled with many questions and gaps. In the end, I found myself laughing at this film consistently but sadly, all for the wrong reasons. Last Man Down is brainless, super cheesy, totally corny, and yet, it’s just so much darn fun at the same time but not the way the filmmakers would ever have intended. Last Man Down (2021) is available on DVD from October 20th.