REVIEW: Last Man Down

What does the phrase 'last man down' mean?  I guess, according to the movie of the same name, it means a fight match between two people to see who the last man down is.  Since this is in a Swedish and English language film, I might chalk it up to poor translation.  Or, they knew that the phrase should be 'last man standing,' but shied away from that on account of there already being multiple movies already with that name.  Perhaps you don't want to be the last man down in a fist fight, but it still implies that you will be down at some point.  I don't know.

The film is about John Wood (Daniel Stisen), who lost his wife at the hands of the evil Commander Stone (Daniel Nehme).  There is a pandemic plaguing the land, and Wood, who used to work in a lame arse army unit that dressed like they were on their way to the roller derby, leaves everything behind to be a timberman in the woods.  His last name is Wood.  Get the symbolism?

One day a woman emerges from the forest.  She is Maria (Olga Kent) and has been shot.  Wood decides to help her.  Removing the bullet, he finds out that it is a tracking device.  Of course this former special forces dude would then take the tracking device far away from his cabin, right?  Of course.  But no.  Why?  Because action movie.

Stisen plays an over the top alpha male, the kind we see a lot in performances by both Frank Grillo and Gerard Butler.  However, Butler and Grillo could only dream of grunting and sweating as much as Stisen.  He basically looks at them, and all alpha male actors in the past, and says, 'hold my beer.'

Wood is a very basic character, and the script doesn't help him out in any way as the writers felt more of a need to come up with cool sounding lines than to provide any kind of character consistency.  He wants to help her, he doesn't want to help her, she brought nothing but trouble for him, and also is someone he would die for.  So much of what he grunts is all over the place.  It may sound cooler than if uttered by John J. Rambo himself, but it is all over the place.

When the baddies arrive, Maria is now an amazing warrior.  She kills a lot of disposable bad guys because she once committed an armed robbery, and Wood had her shoot an empty can.  There is a whole lot of trained soldiers being absolutely incompetent, like running towards the heroes instead of just shooting them with the guns that we clearly see them with.  Remember... because action movie.

In a few isolated moments, the cheesiness of this low budget film does create fist pumping moments.  If it was paced better (which would probably mean a runtime of an hour instead of almost an hour and a half), it may actually be a movie that I could recommend based off of the sheer insanity of it.  The bad guys absolutely must take Maria alive, and the baddies shoot at her for looking tired or threaten to kill her to get Wood to do what they want.  Yes, and say it with me... because action movie.

Last Man Down is not a good movie at all.  It could have been good, though.  There is a chance that the over the top nature of this film could have been the ultimate entertainment experience, but not for the reason that director Fansu Njie intended.  I stumbled upon this movie by chance, as there isn't even a Wikipedia page for the movie or even Stisen.  Watch at your own risk, even though there may be a few moments where you find yourself reflexively pumping your fist.

Rating - 1.5 out of 4 stars