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Independent Film Review – The Last Deal

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You do have to wonder sometimes, what happens and who is affected by changes in the law. This is, ultimately, what’s going on in The Last Deal. The story is that marijuana is to be legalised…so how does that affect the current cadre of dealers, suppliers, and producers of weed? So we end up with a crime thriller that takes viewers into the underbelly of Los Angeles’ marijuana scene. Vince (Anthony Molinari), a black-market weed dealer, faces a harsh reality: legalisation is squeezing him out. Determined to score one final big deal before it’s all over, Vince makes a risky move that entangles him with dangerous figures.

Basically, Vince tries to organise one big, final deal before the legislation kicks in and you need a license, documentation, pass exams, etc. Unfortunately though, things go badly wrong. I say “unfortunately” but, if everything went well, we’d not have a film unless there was a huge cock up along the way. So, Vince borrows a load of cash from some dodgy people…and I don’t mean Barclays. He gets a lorry load of grass and gets ready to flog it so that he can pay off the bad guys and have some left over for a pension fund. 

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When The Law Runs You Out

Sadly though, someone left a garage door open and the van goes missing leaving Vince with a mountain of debt and no way of paying it back. Unfortunately The Boss (Sala Baker) isn’t the “forgive and forget” sort of chap. He’s more the “break something as a reminder” sort of chap. I’m not sure if he’s as worried about the upcoming change in legislation as Vince is, but he does know that Vince is worried and can turn it to his advantage. There then follows the usual round of threats against Vince, his family, friends, and associates. Needless to say not everyone comes out of things unscathed. Indeed, some get considerably more scathed than others but I’m not saying who due to spoilers.

On the plus side, The Last Deal does have some compelling performances throughout the cast. Writer/director Jonathan Salemi has made a film which offers a fresh take on the impact of marijuana legalisation, exploring the struggles of those left behind in the shift from illegal to legal markets. While some might find the first half slow paced and lacking in action. However, I found the slow-burn approach allowed for character development and let the suspense to build towards a tense climax.

You Make One Final Score.

While lacking the polish of a Hollywood blockbuster, The Last Deal punches above its weight. The film’s strength lies in its talented cast, particularly lead actor Anthony Molinari. Molinari’s background in stunts translates to believable fight choreography and a captivating screen presence. The plot is a tangled web of deceit and betrayal. You’ll find yourself constantly questioning who Vince can trust, keeping you on the edge of your seat. The film doesn’t shy away from violence, but it’s presented with a gritty realism that avoids being gratuitous.

While the film is praised for its action sequences and suspense, some viewers might find the characters a bit underdeveloped. The ending, while satisfying, might feel a bit predictable for some. So, if you’re looking for an adrenaline fuelled crime thriller with a unique perspective on the changing marijuana landscape, The Last Deal is definitely worth checking out. Just keep in mind its independent film roots and focus on the raw energy it delivers.

The Last Deal is available on UK digital on 3rd June from Scatena & Roser Films.

Film Grade: A-

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