The Last Man Blu-ray Review


Gloomy & Confused Apocalyptic Thriller Starring Anakin Skywalker

A former soldier becomes obsessed preparing for the coming end of the world on the word of a questionable street preacher in South American filmmaker Rodrigo H. Vila’s uneven movie. Stars Hayden Christensen and Harvey Keitel look dazed and confused in this mish-mash of apocalyptic themes. The Last Man is direct-to-video dystopian fodder that badly needs an editor.

The Last Man dabbles in several different genres, exploring a post-collapse society after some nameless war has devastated civilization. The street prophet Noe (Harvey Keitel) claims a storm of doomsday proportions will soon wipe everyone out if they aren’t prepared. The messy script morphs from slow-moving drama to paranoid action-thriller as the world changes around former soldier Kurt (Hayden Christensen). He’s come back from the war in terrible mental shape, struggling with his actions in the war.

Seeing visions of people that can’t possibly be alive, Kurt withdraws into the darkness of his home, building a bunker for the coming doomsday. His world is caving in until he meets the beautiful Jessica (newcomer Liz Solari). Maybe doomsday won’t be so bad with her around.

…Harvey Keitel is past his prime as an actor and his days of superlative character performances are over

Writer and director Rodrigo H. Vila’s movie could have been a timely parable about the chaos going on in Venezuela at the moment. There’s a clear infusion of a Latin American perspective on war and the government. Set in a post-collapse Western society after a long and pointless war, Kurt and others are fighting for the leftover scraps however they can to survive. The parallels seen to certain South American countries are striking.

Feeding into this paranoia and gloom is the street preacher Noe, the leader of a movement preparing for the coming storms that will supposedly end us all. Expect cliché after cliché in the somber and sullen opening act. By the end you won’t care about any character except maybe Kurt.

Many people can only see Anakin Skywalker when they watch Hayden Christensen, but he’s proved himself a capable actor over the past two decades, putting his so-so Star Wars career behind him. The movie isn’t his fault. On the other hand, Harvey Keitel is past his prime as an actor and his days of superlative character performances are over. He gives a rambling performance with unimaginative line readings. He’s part of the problem in The Last Man, not part of the solution in fixing it.

The direct-to-video movie has a couple of Hollywood names but is really just another warmed-over dystopian thriller. We’ve seen society fall apart in cooler and more interesting ways before on film. The Last Man is bleak, largely pointless and tries to score points by throwing in Nazi allusions. Skip it unless you are a huge fan of Hayden Christensen.

Video

Kurt’s gloomy world comes to life in a steady HD presentation. Lionsgate’s Blu-ray isn’t a showstopper in the picture quality department. The Last Man’s largely desaturated palette employs a gritty digital aesthetic with everyone’s favorite teal-green color grading. It’s a dull, dismal atmosphere made for the coming apocalypse in The Last Man.

About the only splashes of better video come when Kurt starts working at the security company. The raw video for the movie probably looks better, but manipulating the color scheme to help set the mood has dragged its video score down a peg or two.

The 1080P video is presented at the movie’s native 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The 104-minute main feature comes on a BD-25 in AVC, encoded in adequate parameters. If you’ve seen any recent Blu-ray from Lionsgate, you’ll recognize the hallmarks and limitations of their standard encoding practices.

Definition and clarity are fairly good with outstanding detail much of the time. The sharp cinematography holds up well in dimmer scenes, including the darkened interiors of Kurt’s home. Black levels are excellent and there’s no real amount of crushing. Shadow delineation ranges from perfect to above average, lighting or camera noise are not issues in The Last Man.

Audio

While the plotting and characterization may be all over the place, The Last Man receives top-notch 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio. It’s a straightforward, powerful surround mix with discrete channel separation. The active sound design lights up the surrounds with a cacophony of realistic cues.

There’s real thump to the LFE channel, especially during the storms. The intelligible and coherent dialogue fits very nicely into the front soundstage. The moody score by Emilio Kauderer provides an appropriate soundbed for the gloomy tone and dramatic action.

Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles play in a white font. They remain inside the 2.40:1 widescreen frame at all times. No foreign-language dubs or secondary audio tracks are included.

Extras

The Last Man seemingly gets dumped on Blu-ray without any special features save some trailers. Lionsgate does include a very snazzy and colorful slipcover that will stand out on store shelves. It may be the nicest slipcover released by Lionsgate in a long time. The Blu-ray is locked to Region A.

A digital copy is included. Since Lionsgate dropped UltraViolet support for their new releases, the included digital copy isn’t a part of either UV or MA. You can redeem it on VUDU in HDX quality, but currently can’t be shared with other digital service providers.

The Last Man Trailer (01:59 in HD)

Lionsgate Trailers (07:24 in HD) – The following trailers for other Lionsgate movies play before the main menu and are also an option listed under special features. They are Bleeding Steel, Future World, Bent and Backtrace.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

The Last Man
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras

Movie

The confused and pointlessly bleak dystopian thriller’s only redeeming feature is a solid lead performance from star Hayden Christensen.

Overall
2
Sending
User Review
1 (1 vote)

The 15 unaltered images below represent the Blu-ray. For an additional 20 The Last Man screenshots, early access to all screens (plus the 20,000+ already in our library), 75+ exclusive 4K UHD reviews and more, support us on Patreon.