Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 8th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: Denmark, October 11th, 2003
Director: David Noel Bourke
Writer: David Noel Bourke
Cast: Gry Bay, Dorte Rømer, Morten Vogelius, Jette Philipsen, Peter Ottesen
DVD Released: November 15th, 2005
Approximate Running Time: 97 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Surround English
DVD Release: Heretic Films
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: Nigel is forced to leave England when a business deal goes wrong. He ends up in Copenhagen unemployed and forced to share an apartment with Maria a woman he married more out of convenience then love. One day while at a bar Nigel meets Tobias who helps him secure work with a man named the president who deals in many illegal activities like drugs and prostitution. Nigel meets Tanya a prostitute who also happens to work the president. They immediately are attracted to each other and fall in love. Nigel has some more problems to worry about when he finds out that the merchandise that he had watching for the President is not what it supposed to be inside the boxes. The President gives Nigel once last chance to redeem himself.
The Last Exit is a grim look into underworld crime and ones man Nigel’s downward spiral into madness. The look and feel of the film is raw as most of the scenes were shot on location and they look like nothing more than natural lighting was used. David Noel Bourke is does a solid job reigning in his subject matter. The editing of this film at least very early on is another matter as the film is filled with way to much MTV rapid fire editing that makes things more scattered feeling. The film does settle in after about twenty minutes to a more subtle type of editing. The acting was better than I thought; still there were a few roles that just didn’t grab me. The Nigel character is the most flesh out of the lot and actor Morten Vogelius’s melancholy angst ridden performance is captivating throughout. The other main performance I enjoyed was that of Gry Bay who played the prostitute Tanya. Sure her role wasn’t that dialog driven and in many scenes she didn’t have much to do, still there is something about her that draws your attention to her when she is on the screen. I wasn’t too impressed with the actress who played Maria, Nigel’s faux wife. The performance was very cold and lifeless. Also I felt that Peter Ottesen’s portrayal of the President was a bit too much and over the top.
The soundtrack for this film is diverse and eclectic. Some of the music most notably the more pop/happy sounding songs felt out of place during the moments they were being played. The main theme that runs throughout most of this film is Nigel’s need to make money to pay off an old debt before the debtor becomes impatient and kills his family back in England. To makes matters worse Nigel is also caught up in a love triangle with Maria a heroine junkie and Tanya a prostitute he has only recently meet. Nigel decision making skills are seriously screwed up as he continues to dig himself deeper and deeper into a bottomless abyss. This films ending which comes totally out of left field is one of the most fucked up endings that I have seen in a very long time. Overall the last Exit succeeds as a whole despite some of its flaws.
Heretic Films presents Last Exit in its original 1.37:1 full frame aspect ratio. This ultra low budget production was shot on digital video. The colors look nicely saturated and the image looks sharp and remains stable throughout. There is some mild edge enhancement. Overall this transfer does at times show the limitations to this films low budget origins, still despite these minor flaws this transfer is more than adequate as it gets the job done.
This release comes with only one audio option an English dubbed audio track which is presented in a Dolby Digital stereo. Overall the audio is crisp and the music and effects sound evenly balanced.
Extras for this release include three trailers for the film and sixteen minutes behind the scenes documentary which has a lot of behind the scenes clips as well as interviews with cast and crew. Other extras include three extended scenes and five deleted scenes. While the inclusion of this material is always welcome these moments left on the cutting room floor should have been left there. This release also comes with a hidden Easter egg that includes footage of the films premiere and it can be found on the menu for DVD credits. Rounding out the extras is an audio commentary with David Noel Bourke, Morten Vogelius and Peter Ottesen. Overall this commentary is a mess as the participants tend to lose focus and there are several moments of dead air. Overall Heretic Films Last Exit DVD is a mixed bag that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and par extras that lack depth. Last Exit is a compelling film that thoroughly explores the dark side of human nature in its rawest form.