Thailand set Die Hard-inspired martial arts action shoot ‘em up, starring Jon Foo and directed by Jean-Marc Minéo.
“Last Resort” is in theaters January 6th, and on Digital and On Demand, January 10th!
British-born martial artist and actor Jon Foo (credited here as Jonathan Patrick Foo) stars as ex-special forces soldier “Michael Reed”.
Having studied Chinese martial arts and acrobatics, Foo featured as the sword fighter in the burning temple fight with Tony Jaa in “Tom Yum Goong/The Protector”, as well as making appearances in movies such as “Tekken” and “Street Fighter: Legacy“. He starred as “Detective Lee” in the television series adaptation of Jackie Chan’s “Rush Hour“.
American actor Clayton Norcross stars as the cold, and ruthless mercenary “Cooper”. He starred in over three hundred episodes of the popular soap opera, “The Bold and The Beautiful”, making appearances in guest roles in some of American TV’s most popular shows, including “Weird Science”, “Northern Exposure”, “Baywatch Nights”, “JAG”, “Hawaii Five-O” and “Agent Carter”.
Real-life mother and daughter Julaluck Ismalone and Angelina Ismalone play Reed’s wife “Kim” and daughter “Anna” respectively.
Thai actor, Chalad Na Songkhla plays the dutiful cop “Lieutenant Watana”.
A former, special-forces soldier becomes a one-man-army when his wife and daughter are taken hostage during a bank robbery.
As he brutally neutralizes the gang of thieves, the lives of millions hang in the balance when a highly lethal toxin is stolen from the vault.
The movie opens with an impressive-looking car hit, as a poor, hapless henchman bounces over the roof onto the street. It sets the tone that although the acting may not be quite Oscar-worthy, there is no compromising the stunts and action.
As Foo infiltrates the under-siege bank building, he swiftly and efficiently starts wiping out bad guys. Using his martial arts skills to defend himself, Foo manoeuvres either himself or said bad guy into position for varying kill shots. There is even a little nod to “Raiders of the Lost Ark”! You won’t lose count as the bodies pile up, as our hero calls out the current tally with each one.
There are moments that evoke memories of John Woo’s early bullet-ballets, as Foo slides along the floor on his back in slow-motion, Chow Yun Fat-style, dispatching terrorists with his pistol along the way.
A fight with stunt coordinator, David Ismalone gives Foo a particularly bruising, and bloody challenge, brutally escalating from MMA ground work to vicious knife-fighting.
There are several nods throughout to the action classic “Die Hard” and even the spaghetti western, “A Fistful of Dollars”.
As you would expect, the final showdown between Reed and Cooper ups the stakes and the fight choreography, building on the breathless action that has preceded it.
“Action-packed” is certainly one way to describe this movie. Once it gets going, it barely pauses a moment for breath!
Unashamedly riffing on the premise of the Bruce Willis classic “Die Hard”, it infuses the action with tense shootouts and bone-crunching MMA-style fight scenes. Although guns are frequently intermixed with the martial arts, the action is more akin to the rough brutality of “The Raid” rather than the slick gloss of “John Wick”.
It is very well-filmed and the excellent music score by Patrick Matteodo and Jean Jacques Ipino give this movie a bigger budget feel. Having said that, there is a bizarre and completely out of context use of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”, during which I am pretty sure Foo’s character breaks wind. I don’t know what it costs to get music licence clearance for a song like that, but the money probably could have been better spent, or the music better used elsewhere!
Forever bordering on cliché, it felt throughout that this is a film made by action movie fans for action movie fans. With that in mind, ignore the plot, sit back and enjoy the constant stream of bad guys getting their a£$es kicked, in style!
- “Man to man my a£$e!” – Michael Reed
- “Get out of here and let us handle this!” – Lieutenant Watana
- “No way! I’m coming for my wife and kid!” – Michael Reed
- “My dad is gonna come get me and you’ll be in trouble. He’s very strong, he’s a soldier.” – Anna (Michael’s daughter.)
- “You thought you were the best and I f$£ked you!” – Cooper
- Originally called “Ultima Ratio”, not to be confused with the 2021 Hindi action movie called “The Last Resort”!
- Michael’s wife and daughter are played by the real-life wife and daughter of Stunt Coordinator, David Ismalone.
- Director Jean-Marc Minéo spent two years studying martial arts at The Shaolin Temple.