Last Night is a science fiction, psychological thriller version of modernized A Clockwork Orange. This film features a nightless night, which encompasses the last few hours of the world’s existence. The plot centers on Patrick Wheeler (Don McKellar), a man semi-committed to being alone in his last few hours, and Sandra (Sandra Oh), who is convinced that she has found true love with her now-second husband and seems to be also in love with the idea of human contact itself. This unlikely pair meets in the war zone that Canada has become just before the world ends.
This film struggles to answer the question “what would you do if you knew the world was going to end?” However, this question is asked of the whole of humanity. Writer, director, star Don McKellar constructs a chaotic environment where seemingly all morality is gone. Each character develops his/ her own way of coping with the world’s end and this is epitomized by the way in which each chooses to spend his/ her last hours—from prayer circles to destructive acts to faux Christmas celebrations and even a last minute piano recital, each person seeks to fulfill final desires. As far as Last Night’s main characters are concerned, nothing seems to go as planned.
McKellar throws in a few clever lines of note. The ransacked grocery store proclaims that “everything must go” and the radio station, playing the top 500 songs of all time, states that it will stay with its listeners “until the end.” Additionally, throughout the film the gas company morbidly calls each one of their customers and promises that they will keep the gas on for as long as they can. This almost seems like an invitation to utilize the gas as a way out before the world ends.
This film could be a cult-classic for a trend, such as “greening,” which could use snip-its of it to emphasize what could happen if more people don’t recycle or pay attention to how resources are used and abused. There is also a faint message of hope and love and a bit of Quentin Tarantino-inspired cinematography.
Last Night predates Donnie Darko by a few years and seems to pave the way for this cult-classic—complete with abandoned bunny rabbit costume head. Last Night makes its audience ponder deep, existential questions, but does not seem to have the umph necessary for mainstream staying power.