A gaggle of barely-there characters is on a collision course with one another that feels extra like a slog in “The Last Son.” Director Tim Sutton, working from a script by Greg Johnson, provides some hanging visuals and a few compelling performances. However, for probably the most half, this high-concept Western is an excessive amount of of an empty drag to ever seize you.
Sam Worthington stars as Isaac LeMay, an infamous outlaw who receives a disturbing prophecy from a Native American elder within the late 1800s Sierra Nevada: One in all his youngsters will homicide him. Since he’s a killer himself with a propensity for prostitutes, the potential wrongdoer might be any variety of individuals, so he decides to roam the land searching down and taking out his offspring. , simply to be secure. Worthington, the Australian star of “Avatar,” does loads of scowling and staring into the gap from beneath his bushy beard and ratty fur coat. In case we didn’t notice he was a foul man merely from his mission, one character repeatedly shrieks: “He’s the satan! The satan!” However, Worthington has additionally altered his wealthy, resonant voice, as a substitute for talking with the high-pitched rasp of a lot older man, which is a distracting affectation.
One in all LeMay’s final remaining youngsters is as a lot of a ruthless legal as he’s: Machine Gun Kelly’s Cal, a financial institution robber whose mood can shortly flip from cheery to violent. The lanky actor/rapper, whose given identify is Colson Baker, has a plain display presence and swagger. However, in a really eye-rolling transfer, his character truly fires a machine gun not as soon as however twice. Whereas LeMay is in search of Cal, Cal’s mom, Anna, pleads with him to be merciful from the brothel the place she’s lengthy labored and lived. Heather Graham is caught enjoying the clichéd prostitute with a coronary heart of gold, however, her efficiency and supply really feel too modern and misplaced inside this 19th-century setting.
Additionally looking for LeMay are numerous bounty hunters in addition to a reserved sheriff (Thomas Jane) with a mysterious previous who occurs to have his personal historical past with Anna. After which there’s the uncommon daughter who finds herself amongst LeMay’s targets: the quiet Megan (Emily Marie Palmer), who lives out within the woods together with her reformed, churchgoing mom and kindly stepfather. Palmer has a directness about her that’s interesting, in addition to a pure sweetness that’s a lot wanted inside the movie’s harsh panorama.
Johnson’s screenplay is damaged into chapters, however, inside every, the story meanders between all these characters as their fates draw them towards one another. For a story that’s the classically heavy stuff of Greek tragedy, “The Last Son” provides woefully little suspense or momentum. Everybody concerned is taking their time, which at the least permits us to understand some significantly scenic vistas or the dramatic distinction of a campfire within the midst of a snowy forest. (David Gallego is the cinematographer.) However, the torpid tempo does little to make us care about who lives or dies, or whether or not the prophecy, in the end, will come to fruition. Fast, loud bursts of gunfire punctuate the stillness, as do the darkish chords and light-weight plinks from Phil Mossman’s piano-heavy rating, however, these are extra annoyances than the supply of real thrills.
Ultimately, James Landry Hébert arrives and livens issues up as Grayton, a member of the Willets gang, joins Cal’s quest to kill his father earlier than his father kills him. Hebert has a playful, puckish method about him, and his character’s pleasingly chatty nature is a welcome respite amid the brooding loners. He’s so charismatic, you’ll want he’d been alongside for the journey all alongside—however by then, it’s too late.