You know him from The Matrix and The Lord of the Ring series, but Hugo Weaving returns to his Aussie roots in Last Ride. Weaving plays Kev, a man on the run with his young boy Chook, played by the talented Tom Russell.
Weaving’s Kev shows monstrous actions, one after another, that can’t help but imprint his sins onto his son, but the power of Weaving’s performance is that you know Kev is making effort to be the father he never had even though he has nowhere near the tools to ever come close to pulling it off. As events are revealed of Kev’s damning crime and ongoing behavior, you know as well as his son that his destiny is left better with anyone else; however, you want so desperately for there to be enough time for Kev to overcome his great many faults, even though that’s never a reliable outcome.
Weaving is truly amazing in this film. You wouldn’t want him anywhere near your child, but with the slightest look or gesture Weaving convinces you that Kev has enough guilt or self-awareness that there is a right thing to do with his offspring even though his instincts and angers lead him so quickly wrong.
Glendyn Ivan draws strength from the vagueness of surrendered truths that this movie, based upon a novel by Denise Young, relents. Harnessing breathtaking scenery from the Aussie outback, Ivan takes so much from the environment that we know there will be no winner in this film. Kev’s actions have no margin for victory and there’s been too much childhood trauma for Chook to last too long. You can see Chook grow up right before your eyes, and it’s not going the way you’d hope.
The performances are truly first class, but they need to be with a story that gives itself away from the film’s title alone. Flashbacks nicely inform how Kev and Chook got to where they are, but you’re never in question to where it’s going to end up.
Last Ride is a simple film. Again, the title gives it away, but there’s no stopping the undeniable force that director Glendyn Ivin put in his immeasurable two actors, especially Hugo Weaving, who gives a career defining performance that demands your respect. Weaving, young Tom Russell, and the concise Ivin give way to a story with no sense of victor, but the impending force of doom is too much to turn away from.
Take a Drink: anytime something illegal happens.
Take a Drink: every time Kev takes a drink.
Down a Shot: when Kev and Chook have a sweet moment.