One Last Chance
3 out of 5 stars
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One Last Chance There's a nice vibe and an accomplished feel to this rather slight Scottish comedy. Fitz (Sives) lives in the small village of Tullybridge, one of those places everyone spends their life trying to get out of. But he's trapped because he has to take care of his father (Stewart), and his one chance to move away with his girlfriend (McIntosh) is to put Dad into a nursing home. Getting the money is the trick, and when he finds a nugget of gold a series of events are set in motion involving his two hapless buddies (McKidd and Robertson), a fence (Scott), a gangster (Cosmo) and the local chapter of the highly secretive curling club. As things go from bad to worse, Fitz and his friends wonder if they'll get out of it alive, let alone with the money they need.

Yes, the plot is similar to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, as these likable but very stupid men get deeper and deeper into trouble and events take darker and more sinister turns, including one extremely disturbing event that's actually dealt with thoughtfully (for the most part). But this is a much warmer film than Lock Stock, and much more low-key as well. In fact, the plot doesn't kick into gear until at least halfway in; before then it feels like just a goofy slice of rural life. Superb dialog and nice performances help paper over the corny, cliche-ridden storyline. And the idea of day-to-day dullness is vividly portrayed on screen ... with rather lacklustre filmmaking. It's efficient and nicely done, but without much energy or verve. Once the story gets going, it picks up a bit, although each crackpot idea these guys come up with makes us less sympathetic with them. Still, there are some genuinely engaging scenes, as well as some sharply funny moments that make it watchable. And the running joke about the horrors of Christmastime (when everyone comes home to gloat) does hit a nerve!

cert 15 themes, language, violence 15.Oct.03 lff

dir-scr Stewart Svaasand
with Jamie Sives, Kevin McKidd, Iain Robertson, Dougray Scott, Neve McIntosh, James Cosmo, Jimmy Chisholm, Ewan Stewart, Niall Grieg Fulton, Rupert Vansittart, Ralph Riach, William McBain
release UK 12.Mar.04
03/UK 1h36

Another crackpot idea: McKidd, Robertson and Sives

sives mckidd scott
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2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall