A man gets dragged into illegal activities for a local gangster thanks to his bumbling idiot of a friend in the British independent crime comedy feature film Last Chancers.
We British are known for our wit and humour. It can be seen in many British movies, from the Monty Python crew, all the way to Guy Richie’s gangster hits like Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch. Now, director and writer Phil Stubbs leaves his comedic mark with the crime comedy Last Chancers.
Flynn (played by Ellis J. Wells) is a likable guy. We first meet him trying to get a job and having an interview with an irritable and egotistical manager of a bathroom tile company. Also on the hunt for love, Flynn also has a date with Jen (Lisa Ronaghan) and, even though they don’t seem compatible at first, they soon arrange a second date.
All in all, it looks like Flynn’s life is about to turn around. And it does, but not for the better. Aiden (Harry Dyer), a friend of Flynn’s for twenty years, turns up and informs him that he owes ten thousand pounds to a local gangster called Poynter (Brian Croucher). If that wasn’t bad enough, Flynn is then told by Aiden that he used his long-time friend as a guarantor against the debt. So know they both owe the money.
Obviously, neither man can afford to pay Poynter off, and so the debt is increased to fifteen thousand pounds. Then an alternative offer is made, either they can both pay off the money, or they can do a job for Poynter. It seems that a big bag of money is missing and Poynter wants it back. He gives them a name and an address to retrieve it.
This sets off a chain of events that sees them break into a wannabe rockstar’s house, infiltrate a masquerade ball and hide from armed assassins. Whilst those events (especially with the assassins) sounds deadly serious, there are comedic moments throughout, mostly from Harry Dyer’s idiotic Aiden.
Aiden is a cross between Dumb & Dumber’s Harry Dunne and Hagrid from Harry Potter; the latter because, like Hagrid, Aiden can’t hold his own water and constantly puts his foot in it. Flynn is the most straight and level-headed of the two, and it is fun to see the scrapes they both get into in order to pay off the debt that hangs over both of their heads.
The performances in Last Chancers are all great. Lisa Ronaghan does well as Jen, the caring love interest, and Brian Croucher is certainly convincing as gangster Poynter, showing both frustration and intimidation in equal measures.
The story is one that is not fully unique (but what is these days?) but the dialogue is well-written and humorous. There is a rather convenient Deus Ex Machina in the plot – a rival scary gangster called Stoneface has the big bag of money that our protagonists need to find, and his location is apparently top secret that even people who have worked for him don’t know where he lives. Then, we are told that Jen overheard some gangsters in her coffee shop talking about a party at Stoneface’s house. She not only remembers the time and day of the party but also the full address for it too. Don’t you just love meeting new people with photographic memories?
Other than that little niggle though, Last Chancers is a very enjoyable one hour and eighteen minutes. It’s currently available to watch on Amazon Prime. If you’re in the mood for some British crime comedy, then we certainly recommend it. We will also be looking out for future work from Phil Stubbs, he seems to be a British filmmaker with a bright future.