Star rating ****
Burt Reynolds is a legendary film star who’s name attracts me to a feature film when he’s associated with it. The Last Movie Star is no exception. The film does exactly what it says on the tin, in that it centres around a very soon-to-be-has-been by the name of Vic Edwards, Reynolds plays him and epitomises the fading movie star legend in a very tongue-in-cheek manner. In fact the sheer wit of the piece was one of the surprises of the film for me, personally.
With a certain decline into alcoholism more prominent in Vic’s present than any film roles on the horizon. When a Nashville Film Festival offer a Lifetime Achievement Award he’s not keen to attend and accept the honour – however when his old buddy persuades him that this could change the ever-growing rut, Vic heads off to collect his prize. Chevy Chase plays said mate, Sonny and he’s brilliant, I thought he was a great choice to play opposite Reynolds.
Vic finds himself in a whole new world of youthful unfortunates, he’s unwittingly attend a not so slick operation. The organisers couldn’t organise anything – they’re film fans who are delighted to have attracted a film star to their small-time event. The driver they provide is a moody teenager, Lil (Ariel Winter) full of attitude and she couldn’t care less, she’s also into most illegal substances! Ariel Winter is another well cast actor, she plays the role with gusto and provides many a laugh out loud moment.
It’s a predictable story in many ways, however it’s easy viewing with plenty of humour and heart. The set up reminds me of a poorly organised and attended comic con I once went to! The combination of thoughtless youth and equally thoughtless older adult works on many levels and the chemistry between Reynolds and Winter is extraordinary, helping to move the story along.
There’s notable direction from Adam Rifkin and some fantastic locations too. It’s extremely watchable and a great humorous take on the trappings of fame.
The Last Movie Star arrived on digital release from Second Sight on 20 August.