The Last Wave Review


The Last Wave is certainly a strange film. It doesn’t mind lingering on a shot of the sky or an empty house for a little while. There’s always a mysterious humming tune playing and so this helps to keep you off balance the whole time as you don’t know exactly how this is going to play out. It’s all just a little too dragged out though which hurts the film’s momentum.

The movie starts with a powerful hail storm striking a school and knocking one of the kids for a loop. We then see a bunch of guys at a bar and things get out of control when one guy gets drunk and then ultimately drowns. The group at the scene of the crime are taken in on the charge of murder. This leads us to our tax expert named David who is picked as their lawyer for some reason. Seems kind of random but David never turns down an assignment. He tries to make a connection with the main guy named Chris but he’s super vague. Chris also brings in his mentor Charlie who is also quite mysterious.

These two are from a tribe with supernatural customs including a bone that you could point at someone to make them die instantly. David’s best chance is if he can prove that they murdered the guy in this supernatural fashion and since that would be considered tribal law, the group could get off as being innocent. Unfortunately proving tribal law will be difficult especially since Chris and the others won’t play ball for some reason. Why are they keeping so many secrets and why is David starting to have a lot of visions? The whole thing feels rather strange so he is going to have to find answers for that.

From there we get a lot of scenes with David thinking or wondering what’s going on. Naturally the people around him either start to think that he’s crazy or making a mistake. His wife isn’t thrilled about this as Charlie even appears outside of the house in the dead of night and really spooks her. She didn’t exactly sign up for this but props to David for confronting Charlie the next day.

Unfortunately he doesn’t really get any answers out of him. Charlie just spams the “Who are you?” card over and over again. David has a partner who also thinks this is insane and that David should stop trying so hard. The case looks open and shut so there might not be anything he can do, especially when his own clients refuse to help out and seem to be on some kind of order of silence. More tribal law perhaps?

Throughout the film weird things are happening with the weather too. You have black rain falling from the sky which people claim to be pollution but it seems weirder than that. For example, it only starts falling in a small area as opposed to falling everywhere. It’s a bit hard to explain that. One thing that also helps David start to believe that are his visions where he starts seeing things that he shouldn’t even know about.

There’s a court scene in the movie which is fun as David tries to present supernatural evidence. The court actually considers it far more than you would typically expect. It definitely makes for a surreal scene as is the rest of the movie. While I’m skeptical that things would play out like this…at all. It still made for a fun moment as I always like to get a court scene thrown in.

While the movie is mainly focused on being super strange and doesn’t jump into the realm of action too much, the climax suddenly gets a little intense. We get a little wrestling as David turns into Indiana Jones and really investigates the cave. The whole thing turns into a bit of a conspiracy you could say as the tunnels go throughout the city. This leads into a pretty solid ending. You can take the ending in a few different ways but I consider it to be “Game Over”. There’s no coming back from this and in a way the futility of David’s whole adventure hits him all at once here. It’s like he never stood a chance.

The most annoying character in the film has to be Chris though. David’s trying to help him and the guy remains cryptic and completely unhelpful for the entirety of the film. You’d think that he would step up at least once, but no he never does. Even by the end he just ditches the main character because it got too dangerous. Then you have Charlie who seems completely insane. That could make for a good villain but he’s not good at using his abilities at all and just appears to be completely ineffective in the climax. Surely with his abilities he could do much better than how he performed here.

The Last Wave does a good job of being strange but where it loses me is in how long it’s got to be. We’ll have a conversation with David and Chris that takes eons as they have to have a dramatic pause at the end of each word and then just stare waiting for the other person to slowly have a response. These artificial delays occur for every conversation in the film involving Chris and the other characters. A random scene like the bathtub overflowing will take several minutes as David slowly walks up the steps and ponders his life as he turns it off.

So that does bring the whole eerie feel of the movie across but it also means that the pacing is simply dreadful. The events take too long to happen which hurts the replay value and even the experience of making it to the end. If you cut out how long some of these scenes were then this would easily jump up a point or two. Maybe if the payoff was even bigger then this would have gotten another point that way as well. There’s a lot to interest you here but it just takes too long to get there.

Overall, The Last Wave is a film that’s right in the middle. It’s far too drawn out to be good but there’s enough interesting angles here where it’s not bad. If you want a film that’s very original and off the normal path then this is the one to check out. It is difficult to make a film this strange without being nonsensical or making big mistakes so the film deserves some credit there. The ending is also very memorable so you aren’t likely to forget it anytime soon.

Overall 5/10

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