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‘Last Looks’ review: Fun characters anchor murder mystery

No more than 100.

Last Looks has all the makings of a fun whodunit. Charlie Waldo (Charlie Hunnam) is a former cop who now enjoys life off the grid. When the wife of an eccentric actor (Mel Gibson) is found dead, Waldo is convinced to come out of retirement. The mystery includes gangsters, Hollywood executives, and pre-school teachers.

The plot never seems sure what it wants to be. As a murder mystery, it is fine. It keeps the audience engaged and even has some neat detective moments. At times, Last Looks seems like it is going to be the noir story with oddball characters it is paying homage to.

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Before the film has a chance to find itself, it will switch gears to a mystery comedy. Arguably, these are the best parts of the movie, but the change in tone is jarring. This happens repeatedly throughout Last Looks. The story is never actively bad – it can actually be quite fun – but it often feels like it is trying to do too much.

This means it is up to the actual mystery to hold things together. Last Looks can be a little too predictable at times, but it is an engaging adventure. This is especially true in the end when Waldo solves the crime. It is a great moment that makes up for many earlier flaws. 

'Last Looks' review: Fun characters anchor murder mystery

An important part of these types of stories is the person tasked to solve the case. Waldo is an entertaining detective to follow. He has the little quirks that make these types of characters so interesting. There is never any doubt he is going to crack the case – even when he is obviously in over his head. 

Last Looks is an example of a movie being all over the place but still sticking to a formula. It is tonally inconsistent, but the story checks off all the boxes for an intriguing murder mystery. Strong characters and genuinely funny moments will ensure audiences remain invested.

Last Looks come to theaters, VOD, and digital February 4

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