The Last Supper (1995)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
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Overall Rating 67%
Overall Rating
Ranked #3,967
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When Pete, one of five friends who share an Iowa house, invites Zack, a man who gave him a lift home in for supper, the night turns suddenly sour when Zack irrationally attacks Pete, but is killed by the other friends. After this episode, the friends suggest that, having ridden the world of one bad person, they should continue to do the same thing every Sunday night at supper. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: December 13, 2009
How's this for a novel concept: a political black comedy that doesn't choose one side while bashing the other. Granted, it's always entertaining to poke fun at the left or the right (whichever side you disagree with, naturally), but those kinds of movies rarely turn out to be classics. Of course, movies tend to be written and directed by humans, and as I'm sure most of you know, humans tend to have opinions on the world of politics. Some lean to the left while others lean to the right, and those opinions always seem to find a way into the film that they are creating. The Last Supper is one of those rare films that doesn't choose a side, and instead brings together both parties while taking a look at the pros and cons of both.

Our film for the evening kicks off with an introduction to five very liberal grad students - Jude (Cameron Diaz), Pete (Ron Eldard), Paulie (Annabeth Gish), Marc (Jonathan Penner), and Luke (Courtney B. Vance) - who all live together under one roof and who also have a bit of a weekly tradition. Each weekend, the crew will invite a new guest over to their house, have a nice dinner together, and discuss anything worth discussing: politics, current events, or whatever the hot topic of the week happens to be is the talk of the dinner table for that gathering.

This leads us to Zachary (Bill Paxton), a guest of honor who happens to lean to the far right and who is also a bit of a racist; one of his lines is something to the tune of "Hitler had the right idea", if that gives you any indication as to his outlook on his fellow man. The discussion soon becomes a heated argument, and it winds up with our pal Zachary dead on the floor with a knife sticking out of his back. Our heroes begin to panic, but then they think about one of the things that Zachary said to them before meeting his maker: "You liberals are always sitting on your asses bitching and moaning, but you never actually do anything. That's why we have the power." They all realize that there was some truth to that statement, so they set out to bury the body, cover up the crime, and invite some undesirable person (be it someone who is against abortion, gay rights, or environmental concerns) over on a weekly basis. From there... well, they soon realize that this may not have been the best of ideas. Ron Perlman takes a turn as the ultimate conservative, while Jason Alexander makes a small cameo appearance.

I know what you're thinking: "How can you say that the film doesn't choose a side when the entire plot revolves around poking fun at the right-wing stereotypes?" While there is certainly plenty of that to be found, the movie also takes a shot at a handful of liberal stereotypes, and this is actually where the meat of the storyline comes from. You see, the goal was to show how the extremists on either side take their views just a little too far, but it's all done in such an entertaining fashion that you don't even have to worry about the politics to enjoy the film. You can just ignore that entire aspect of the film and still get your money's worth if you so choose. That, my dear readers, is the backbone of any good movie: there's a message there if you want to hear it, but you can also pop the disc in and just kick back with a damned fine movie.

There's a damned fine story here with some excellent writing, but the movie is also aided greatly by a superb cast. Cameron Diaz shows up in the first starring role of her career, and though there is a bit of humor from her character, it's a far cry from the goofy comedies that she is most known for. Damned fine performance from her. Her costars wouldn't go on to achieve the level of success that she did, but they certainly held their own here in the acting department, with Courtney B. Vance turning in a particularly memorable performance. The real star of the movie, however, is Ron Perlman. The man shows up for a few brief television appearances throughout the running time and he then swoops in at the end of the movie for a single scene, but the man just made everyone else look bad. That's not a knock on any of the other actors as, again, they were all great in their roles, but Perlman was just on top of his game here and has rarely looked better. Bill Paxton is also especially good as the redneck racist, and Jason Alexander brings a little humor to the table (if you'll pardon the pun).

Finally, we come to the end of the movie. Now, I'm not going to tell you what happens, but I will say that I loved how the movie is capped off. It's a very open ending that can be interpreted in a number of different ways, but regardless of your take on what goes down in the closing moments, you can't help but walk away satisfied. It's the kind of ending that will have you discussing it with your fellow movie watchers well after the credits have rolled, and I couldn't think of a better way to finish up this unique story.

Would I go so far as to call The Last Supper a perfect film? Not quite as there were a few scenes that got a little too silly for my liking, but I will say that it is a criminally underrated film that should have had a much larger audience. It's a black comedy that is actually humorous, it has a storyline that is unique and interesting, the acting is top-notch, and it even brings a message to your living room if you want to listen to it. If that's not enough to whet your appetite, well, I don't know what is. 9/10.
Ginose #1: Ginose - added December 14, 2009 at 11:44pm
My lady had advised this to me for the longest time (though she'd forgotten the title) and we ended up finding it by accident (we were tying to find the cannibalism movie) and we sat down and watched it, I've been wanting to review it for a while... but I've been a bit conflicted...
Not with my thoughts on the movie, istself, but just on whether or not it was good. It had a good idea, good premise and pretty good execution, but the performances were lacking, the story was full of useless fluff (like the WHOLE STORY WITH THE COP AND MISSING GIRL) and the ending, although hillarious and featuring the best performance in the film via Ron Perlman, COMPLETELY defeated the message the film was trying to make... huh... it really is hard to say...

Guess it was good, but I didn't like or hate it. 6/10.
Chad #2: Chad - added December 15, 2009 at 1:07am
The whole story with the cop and the missing girl was fluff? The ending defeated the message that the film was trying to make? Wait, did you actually watch the movie? I think that you might want to give this one another watch.
Ginose #3: Ginose - added December 15, 2009 at 2:15am
Okay... *SPOILERS!!!*

Well, yes, the cop makes a few various apperences throughout, but never once makes any contact with the actual main chracters. By the time she does, the fact that the hick they killed actually was a child murderer was not only STILL unconfirmed, but sompletely fucking irrelevant to EVERY piece of story and character development the whole movie built to... huh... seems l ike filler to me. Then the one guy kills her in the garden because she discovered (presumably) what they were doing, really showing us nothing more than we already knew about his change in view and character.
That's fluff. All of the scenes she filled in the movie culminated to NOTHING. She didn't need to be there, the whole side-story didn't need to be there. It added/took nothing from any of the characters or how they, ahem, "changed" during the course of the film.
Now, on to the ending, they get Perlman to come to dinner, all completely ready to off him (even the ones... Diaz and the other, I can't remember... who were starting to realize how horrible the idea really was) and he COMPLETELY destroys all of their assumptions about him, proving the exact opposite of their reasoning behind the killings to begin with, showing that the man who, allegedly, embodied the opposite of their beleifs was very practical, down to Earth and proved that they'd been pushing their shared moralities onto the people they didn't understand to the point of... well... killing them... even the ones they didn't agree on and ended up disputing over (the girl trying to stop the condoms, the "Catcher in the Rye" hater, etc.) shared traits they tried to ignore... then, after their dispute and essential moral stand-still (the Hitler question) they realize the horrors of it all... only to be killed by Ron Perlman, who was just bullshitting. Hillarious? Yes. But it made the whole study in morality completely fucking meaningless. Just made it seem like they had the right idea all along.
Chad #4: Chad - added December 15, 2009 at 12:19pm
Yeah, huge spoilers here too.

You think Paxton is the one who killed the kid? I repeat, I think you might want to watch the movie again: they never come right out and say it, but it's strongly implied that someone else did it... someone, by the way, who happens to be a main character, and someone who was quick to propose the whole "let's kill people" idea. Paxton was most likely innocent - an asshole, sure, but not a murderer.

Also, you think Perlman killed them? That's certainly one interpretation of the ending, but it's the weakest possible one. Hint: the movie ends with a painting of that final dinner. Who painted it? Probably not someone who died in that scene. Remember the question that is repeated throughout the movie, the one about going back in time and killing Hitler? Watch it again and tie it all together.
Ginose #5: Ginose - added December 15, 2009 at 10:35pm

Yes, I said unconfirmed for a reason, Chaddykins. I know that it’s implied that Vance was probably the killer, but that, again, is never touched on. Not to mention his moral realization at the end of the film with the others, I mean, is there even a reason given for him being homicidal prior to it all? Any reasoning? Frankly, by the end of the film it’s completely irrelevant who killed her, and any uncertainty as to which of the two it was is so fucking out of the way it only proves my point more. The entire sequence in which he’s talking to the officer in the garden felt completely out of place in the movie, fucking silly, if anything. The only part she plays in the entire FILM that can even possibly have any real bearing on the story is stopping by their house and making them panic at the possibility of being caught, sparking their first of a string of self-defeating arguments.
She could have been taken out of the movie altogether. Seriously.
Now, there are many ways to interpret the ending, or so I thought… The painting was clearly symbolism, it might not have existed at all, but merely implied and ending (or several), but then having him do the voice-over and completely under minding EVERYTHING he said at the dinner table? No. I, at first, though it meant that he’d defeated them, morally, and that it took his true colors to prove them as wrong as they were, and then the voice-over. Nah. I think he killed them and it was just giving us a polite, cryptic way to take the message of the movie.
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