March 25, 2020

filmsgraded.com:
The Last Boy (2019)
Grade: 50/100

Director: Perry Bhandal
Stars: Flynn Allen, Matilda Freeman, Peter Guinness

What it's about. A low budget science fiction drama set in England in an apocalyptic future. Most of the world's population has been killed by "The Wind", a moving force field that turns people into powder. Survivors are scattered about, subject to pursuit by The Wind.

Sira (Flynn Allen), a preteenaged boy, has been living with his single mother (Aneta Piotrowska). She instructs him how to use her hand-held remote control to block The Wind from taking him. She also tells him of a place, a few days walk, where wishes will come true.

She dies, and the boy begins his journey to the Wishing Place. Because it is a movie, he soon encounters a girl, Lilly (Matilda Freeman), about eight years old, who promptly decides to join him in his journey. The two then meet an elderly shaman (Peter Guinness) who controls a group of compliant women, mostly in their twenties. The creepy shaman tries to seize Sira's remote control, and force him to reveal how it works.

The Wind disposes of the shaman, and Sira and Lilly resume their trek to the Wishing Place. They next meet Jay (Luke Goss), an AWOL soldier; and Jesse (Jennifer Scott), a middle-aged woman. These two are also interested in Sira's remote, and convince Sira to divert his journey to a nearby house where more Wind-stopping devices may exist. There, Lilly is taken by The Wind.

Disappointing as that may be, Sira, Jay, and Jesse trek to the Wishing Place. There, they find The Wind moving non-stop across the land without any interest in taking out our trio. Their wishes come true, as Sira's mother, Jay's wife, and Lilly, all of whom are dead, appear in a vision within The Wind, offering our heroes a choice: join them, or remain with the living.

How others will see it. This movie was made with a filming budget competitive with Clerks (1994). Special effects were added after the filming. There doesn't appear to be any box office to speak of, but at imdb.com there are 6K user votes, which confirms some interest in the movie. The user ratings are a mixed bag. Women like it more than do men, and younger audiences like it more than those over 45. Thus, women under age 30 grade it 7.7 out of 10, while men over 45 grade it a much lower 4.7.

Surprisingly, most of the "most helpful" user reviews grade the film 7 or 8, though their praise of the movie is vague. Many 1-star reviews exist and heap scorn upon the production: no budget, no score, slow story, unimpressive special effects, deadpan acting, et cetera.

How I felt about it. You might be wondering why I watched the movie. After all, so many others are more promising. I was more or less a captive audience. My roommate wanted to see it, and it proved watchable. Luke Goss is cool. He is first-billed though he sees less screentime than Sira or Lilly. This is because he is the closest thing in the small cast to a household name, having made countless films since 2000.

Regarding our protagonist, Flynn Allen. He is a wooden actor, with the same reaction whether he finds his mother dead, or sees her alive again within The Wind. I don't blame Allen, though. It may well have been that director Bhandal told him to act like a robot. Or, at least, he should have coached him otherwise, or replaced him with a different cute boy that could show emotions. In any event, he acts better than Lilly, who is better at making sad faces than delivering lines.