Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Michael Caine
Bob Hoskins
Tom Courtenay
David Hemmings
Helen Mirren.
Directors
Fred Schepisi.
Screenwriters
Fred Schepisi.
Running Time
110 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Million Dollar Arm
4 Star Empire Rating
Into The Storm
2 Star Empire Rating
Police Officer's Wife, The
2 Star Empire Rating
Art Party
1 Star Empire Rating
God Help The Girl
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

Last Orders
Like the book, this all-star ensemble brit-film captures the sense of a specific English, working-class generation.


submit to reddit


Plot
Ray, Vic, Larry and Vince drive to Margate to scatter the ashes of their friend, Jack, from the end of the pier. As the trip goes on, the men think back to the past and the things that bind them together - in particular Jack's wife, Amy.


Review
As ensemble casts go, it doesn't have the superstar pull of Ocean's 11 and it's not as young and sexy as American Pie. But Last Orders' gathering of old-school heavyweights is a cinematic event in itself. Hoskins and Mirren united beside the Thames for the first time since The Long Good Friday and Hoskins and Caine share screen time 15 years after Mona Lisa. This is the Brit Pack Mark I, and they're a joy to watch.

Rather than going for the gangster flash of the movies mentioned above, Last Orders allows its cast to shine as both individuals and as a unit. After all, that's what the story is about - the everyday tension between secret, inner desires and outward friendship and loyalty.

Graham Swift's Booker Prize-winning novel alternates chapters from several characters' viewpoints. This works on the page but wouldn't be practical on the screen. So, instead, writer-director Fred Schepisi opts for a complex story structure - within the two main strands (the men take Jack's ashes to Margate; Ray and Amy remember their brief affair), we're treated to flashback after flashback, some only a few seconds long.

Schepisi underlines how past events define the present - how these people are created by decisions taken or avoided earlier in their lives. This means the story jumps around from period to period simply because that's how memory works.

Like the book, the film captures the sense of a specific English, working-class generation - people in family businesses (butchers, undertakers, fruit 'n' veg stalls), people with solid names (Jack, Vic, Larry), people for whom a house in Margate is Shangri-La. This subject matter will chime with older audiences, but everyone should take the opportunity to catch some of Britain's finest performers gathered together in the same place at the same time.


Verdict
Ambitious in structure and casting, it packs a lot into its screen time. Quality craftsmanship for a discerning crowd.


Reviewed by Alan Morrison

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Gamescom 2014: The 10 Most Exciting Games
Zombies! Guns! Tombs! Sheep! Watch the trailers right here...

Who Is Mack Bolan? Your Guide To Cinema's New Action Man
As Bradley Cooper lines up to star as the hero, here's your handy guide to his story so far

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Lists Of Our Lifetime: Empire's 25 Greatest Battles
From smalltime scraps to epic struggles, these are the conflicts that have stunned cinema since 1989

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)