Sunday 7 May 2023

Movie Review: The Last Shift (2020)

Genre: Dramedy
Director: Andrew Cohn
Starring: Richard Jenkins, Shane Paul McGhie
Running Time: 90 minutes

Synopsis: In nondescript Albion, Michigan, Stanley (Richard Jenkins) is approaching retirement after working the night shift for 38 years at a fast food restaurant. He is asked to train his replacement Jevon (Shane Paul McGhie), a young black aspiring writer, currently out of prison on probation. Stanley plans to travel to Florida after retirement to look after his ailing mother, while Jevon is trying to reset his life but has trouble at home with his girlfriend.

What Works Well: Richard Jenkins reliably occupies a proud man happy to have fulfilled his limited potential. A restaurant forgotten by time in a town bypassed by progress matches Stanley's non-achievements

What Does Not Work As Well: An idea in search of a movie, forcing an aging slightly-dim white man to interact with a young black man seems like a good premise. But writer and director Andrew Cohn only meekly waves at social issues like privilege, stereotypes, ambition, and worker exploitation, without ever meaningfully digging in. The result is tedious, even at just 90 minutes.

Conclusion: Like most fast food, looks good on the outside but offers limited nutrition.

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