Eye For Film >> Movies >> Too Late (2021) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
Have you ever had to deal with a monster of a boss? Bob (Ron Lynch) has been he top man in his city's comedy circuit for many years. Everybody who's anybody loves his work and wants to be on his show, Too Late. Throughout that time, Violet (Alyssa Limperis) has been his loyal assistant. But Violet is starting to feel trapped in this role, now far below her skill level, and frustrated by the way Bob expects her to be constantly available yet passes her over for promotion. The trouble is that the two of them are bound by a secret. Bob is a monster not just figuratively but literally, and Violet has been helping him get away with it.
Comedy is a cutthroat business but it's also one in which people who support each other's talent can do great things together. Bob and Violet have very different styles. She wants to start up on her own and showcase great comics. He wants to eat them - one a month - and absorb their powers. As the time for his next feeding approaches, she has a decision to make.
Written by Tom Becker, who has a background in stand-up, Too Late captures the atmosphere of the comedy club scene beautifully and will have particular appeal to stand-up performers and fans. It features performances by real comedians shot in documentary style by director DW Thomas. The fantasy elements are less successful overall, with both writer and director seeming less confident, but the solid cast keeps it from losing its balance too badly. Limperis makes a solid lead and has great chemistry with Jenny Zigrino, who plays her roommate in some of the film's best scenes. Lynch is all ham as the monster, but clearly has a whale of a time in a performance that will be a treat for his fans.
Thomas has a difficult task holding things together as the film veers between folkloric horror and realism played to comic effect. It's a low budget enterprise and in places this hampers the storytelling. Sensibly, much of the horror is left to the imagination, with make-up and special effects emphasising the grotesque, leaving the rest to the actors. There are few surprises in the plot but that's in keeping with the traditional approach to narrative, where the emphasis is on the characters and their choices more than on events. Nobody here is an innocent and everything is complicated by ambition.
An uneven but likeable film with the guts to do things differently, Too Late won't work for everyone but its likely to win admirers who will watch it again and again.Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2021
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