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One Last Chance
cast: Kevin McKidd, Jamie Sives, Iain Robertson, Jimmy Chisholm, Dougray Scott

writer and director: Stewart Svaasand
92 minutes (15) 2003
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Momentum DVD Region 2 retail
Also available to rent or buy video and DVD
[released 16 August]

RATING: 3/10
reviewed by Debbie Moon
Fitz (Jamie Sives) is stuck in a small Scottish town, driving a grocery van to support himself and his psychologically damaged father. He and his girlfriend want to get out into the big wide world, but first they need to get Dad into a care home. The home manager wants a bribe, and the only way to pay that is by exploiting the gold nugget found in the hand of a dead neighbour. But the nugget soon falls into the hands of gangster Big John, and the psychopathic Curling Club also want a share. Soon there's a dead body in the lake, and Fitz and his deadbeat mates have to hatch a desperate plan to set the rival groups at each other's throats...
   One Last Chance has ambitions in the Shallow Grave direction, but despite some inventive touches, it has none of the warmth and little of the tension of Danny Boyle's debut. After a long, rather unnecessary narrated prologue, it presents Fitz and friends as a listless and mostly charmless bunch who lurch from event to event without direction or enthusiasm. The pace is too slow, the comedy lacklustre, and the dangers facing them too tame. An 18-month waiting list for Dad's care home, or even vague threats of broken fingers if debts aren't paid, don't really cut it as driving forces for a film that desperately wants to be an offbeat black-comedy thriller.
   A good cast of young Scots actors do their best with the material, ably supported by Ewan Stewart as Fitz's tea-obsessed, paranoid dad, but they can't overcome the general sluggishness of their characters, or of the film in general. There are the makings of a decent comedy, or a decent thriller, here, but it simply hasn't gelled.
   DVD extras are equally disappointing - just a trailer.

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