THE LAST SHOT, something like a twist on THE PRODUCERS, is about Hollywood's
favorite subject, the making of movies. Alec Baldwin, with some memorably bad
haircuts, plays FBI Agent Joe Devine. Sasha, Joe's dead wife in the movie, did
the hair for the movie JAWS, so Joe's long string of bad hair days are probably
an inside joke. Actually, it turns out that Joe was never married and that
Sasha is his dog who recently committed suicide in their Jacuzzi, after leaving
behind a bizarre note. THE LAST SHOT is a silly and whimsical film that takes
its comedy seriously. It's quite tricky making a movie that is intentionally
bad for comedic effect, but THE LAST SHOT -- and the movie within the movie,
ARIZONA -- are successfully funny parodies.
While stuck in the backwaters of the Providence, Rhode Island FBI office, Joe
has an inspirational idea. Reasoning that the mob controls the Teamsters, the
Teamsters control the trucks and making movies is about trucks, he figures that
the best way to nab Tommy Sanz, the local mob boss, is not to make a movie but
to make Tommy think a movie is being made so that the FBI can entrap him.
Meanwhile back in sunny California, Matthew Broderick plays a movie theater
ticket ticker and would-be writer and director named Steven Schats. Steven's
current girlfriend, Valerie Weston (Calista Flockhart), wants to be in the
movies like everyone in Tinseltown, but her career as an actress isn't taking
off -- or even taxiing down the runway. Steven tries to boost her spirits by
pointing out the potential of her current position playing the piano at
Nordstrom's, since that is "where every casting agent shops."
Joe figures the gullible Steven is perfect for his movie, so Joe agrees to give
him everything including final cut in the film that isn't supposed to get past
pre-production anyway. Valerie hopes for lead until a "nominated actress"
named Emily French (Toni Collette) shows up and overacts her way into the lead
role of a woman dying of cancer. "In a moment I'm going to die," she says
during the big death scene in her audition. "I wish I could see that." Her
self-administered drug test, in order to show Joe and Steven that she had
cleaned up her act, is one of the funniest and wildest urination scenes on
Since Steven's movie is titled ARIZONA and set at the Grand Canyon, filming it
in Rhode Island is something of stretch, but Joe convinces him that they can
make it work. Sea gulls are sort of like buzzards, and a land fill can easily
be made to look like a large canyon.
The movie biz, not the catching of crooks, soon becomes Joe's passion. He
begins to want to make the movie as much as Steven. So will they ever make
ARIZONA? Who cares? In this cute little picture, the journey is the comedic
THE LAST SHOT runs a fast 1:33. It is rated R for "language and some sexual
content" and would be acceptable for teenagers.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes