Movie Review: The Last Thing He Wanted
The last thing I wanted was to watch The Last Thing He Wanted, the latest Netflix original to come from the mind of director Dee Rees. With an ensemble cast featuring the likes of Anne Hathaway, Willem Dafoe, Ben Affleck and Toby Jones, I was expecting a tight political thriller that would match the likes of Argo, All the President’s Men and Blow Out. Maybe I was expecting a little too much though, because The Last Thing He Wanted is a hilarious crashing of disastrous plot details and poor performances.
It’s a completely forgettable film, what more can be said of it? Anne Hathaway once again wastes her way through another film that would provide us with enough evidence to say that her and her agent have had a falling out, and now they’re providing her with intentionally bad scripts. The same can be said for Ben Affleck who after escaping the jaws of the DCEU has slipped into filler film after filler film. It has been a rough few years for both Hathaway and Affleck, and it’s beginning to mount up to the point where I begin to question their effectiveness in what should be the high point of each of their respective careers.
Most of the issues come from a truly peculiar way of dictating the story. It feels completely inconsequential and the pace flatlines from a very early point in the film. Hathaway’s leading performance is a bland affair, combining her affable ability to conform to more or less any role with a script that has more than a handful of extremely large errors. With a script that feels both inconsequential and disconnected entirely from the story and characters on-screen, there’s a frequent shift in tone throughout, as if director Rees is wrestling with the script she adapted.
It’s such a completely benign film, where nothing happens throughout its bloated running time. Nothing of consequence or interest has any pacing to it, and the few standout moments are peppered with incompetence from the cast, direction and writing. It’s a complete disaster, and a film that feels like it was ushered out the door without any time to improve upon or edit together something that would’ve been at least a bit more palatable.
Never before did I think such a collection of positively talented individuals could come together and with a defiant confidence release a motion picture so terrible. Personal embarrassment of thinking this was going to be one of the best films of 2020 is somehow a lot worse than the film itself, and The Last Thing He Wanted is a complete disaster that lacks the so bad it’s good qualities we often find ourselves left with in disaster piece films.