One Last Chance

One Last Chance


Reviewed by: David Stanners

Fitz (Jamie Sives) is desperate to find his senile father a retirement home and get himself and his girlfriend (Neve McIntosh) out of Tullybridge, a small dead-end village in the Highlands. Every year, he dreads Christmas, because that's the time "when every bastard who's ever left comes back for their annual gloat". All that stands between himself and a new life is the £1000 bribe needed to catapult his dad up the waiting list and into a home.

When one of the locals dies with a piece of gold in his hand, Fitz and his friend Nellie (Iain Robertson) concoct a scam to sell it to the local wheeler dealer, Frankie the Fence (Dougray Scott), to pay for the home and a fast route out.

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Needless to say the plans are soon thwarted by a catalogue of errors, starting at a rendezvous with the rival town gang, who inadvertently steal the gold nugget. Along the way, they meet Big John (James Cosmo), the rival town's don, who's big on respect and families, and soon find themselves embroiled in a slippery clique at the curling club, as well as a spate of unforeseen shenanigans.

There's no point in spoiling the party here. The plot goes off on one tangent after another, before eventually returning to the starting block.

There are a host of well known Scots actors, thrown in for their names' sake, with very little to do. McIntosh is only a bit player, offering moral support to her jinx of a boyfriend. Scott is not utilized enough and, for the most part, the comic deliveries between the big three - Sives, Kevin McKidd and Robertson - are a bit wooden.

The script is laced with expletives and the comedy weakened by a lack of dialogue support. There are some decent gags, however, notably a revenge plot, involving Big John, Harry (Jimmy Chisholm) and a youthful no.9 on the footie pitch.

The concept isn't bad. Black humour goes hand in hand with the dreich, solemn landscape. Leaning on more accomplished Scottish predecessors, such as Shallow Grave and Local Hero, the result is less gratifying.

The plot trudges through mud and peat bogs, slowing things down. Although it boasts the twists and turns of a single track road, it could have reached the same destination by motorway.

Reviewed on: 17 Feb 2004
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Black comedy, set in the Highlands of Scotland.
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Director: Stewart Svaasand

Writer: Stewart Svaasand

Starring: Jamie Sives, Kevin McKidd, Iain Robertson, Neve McIntosh, Dougray Scott, Jimmy Chisholm, James Cosmo

Year: 2004

Runtime: 96 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK/Norway


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