The Last Ones

The Last Ones is about a total prick who owns a mine in Lapland, and thinks he can take whatever he wants, like other people’s land and other people’s wives. It’s almost criminally boring.

I’ve heard this described as Finnish Western. The mine is set up on indigenous land, with the Sami reindeer herders in their tipis in the background, and a corrupt and lawless ruler of the surrounding town presides over a drunk and disillusioned population who came here to seek their fortune only to discover a hard and unjust life. Add to that the love triangle over the only fuckable woman in the town and you can see why people feel there are enough tropes to warrant the name.

But it’s not really. Because it’s not stylised enough in its execution to be called a Western. This is just a film about a lot of miserable people, and it has far more in common with bleak movies about English industrial mining towns than it does with American frontier film. The tone is all wrong, and the hollow pacing doesn’t build to a rise in tension, or a swell of hope cruelly dismissed, but is that unbroken plod that characterise films about working grind.

This film is a good half-hour longer than what I thought was the end shot, and a good two hours longer than what I hoped was the end shot. Just acres of grassland between meaningful events. No investment in any of the characters. And all the music in it sticks out like a sore thumb. So dull.