The Last Sentinel Review
My last review has a couple of special effects guys as the director. Now it's the turn of the stuntman, Jesse Johnson, to both write and direct this straight to disc Sci-Fi shoot-em up.
The film follows the trail of Tallis (Don 'The Dragon' Wilson), last surviving member of the EE-700 an engineered elite group; man's last hope for victory in the fight against the Drone Police. This police force was welcomed into society years previously but as with all good ideas they rebelled, eliminated half the population, the other half they're just hunting down.
Tallis picks them off one by one, preferring really to avoid conflict, keep his head down and stay alive. Until that is he rescues a woman on the run, credited only as Girl (Katee Sackoff) she bonds with Tallis and persuades him to fight again for the survival of the human race. She knows how to stop the Drones in one fell swoop and he must train and help her win.
There we have it, there's not a lot to see here people, the most imaginative aspect of this feature is Tallis' speaking gun, Angel; but then even this idea is years old if not just from 2000AD's Rogue Trooper. Angel's a welcome addition really without her 'character' the film would be silent for the first 35 minutes as Tallis skulks about the deserted Universal back lot. At least she provides some information as to what's going on, trust me though she gets very repetitive after a while and if I were going into battle with 'her' then pretty soon she'd have her speech synthesis system removed; it's hardly a good idea for stealth operations.
The arrival of Kate doesn't really add anything to the development other than the one scene pony that this film ultimately is, get the disc stop the Drones; all very simple. I suppose she does add some depth in trying to develop a relationship with a man almost twice her age but it's a drawn out affair as she trains up eventually receiving her own black cloak the ownership of which means she can now go into battle. Didn't these people ever watch The Incredibles, that legend Edna Mode told us capes were no good, how they assist in war is way beyond me.
The action comes thick and fast and that's really all that can be said about The Last Sentinel and even then the actions not that great. Even if it were it would stale after a while as there's nothing different between one action scene and the next. It's all run, dive into shallow water, shoot the bad guys whilst the bad guys can obviously never ever shoot you. In one historical flash back a human policeman who has a Drone as his partner warns the criminals to beware as these Drones never miss; time obviously has muted their aim somewhat as like the Imperial Storm-troopers before them their aim is abysmal.
In these flashbacks a couple of additional characters are introduced and they do develop the back history somewhat, the way Tallis himself has been trained and engineered from birth to serve the EE-700, the rise of the Drone Police force, the collapse of society. It's all too brief though and lacks any emotional connection at all. It does allow Keith David (Riddick, The Thing) to show his gruff welcome face and in my own opinion he's the best thing about this film, especially his voice over for a rather deranged Angel type intelligent weapon. His “do and die” speech in the helicopter to his men is a joy to behold.
It's obviously low budget, swapping between three sets and a bit of water, but that's never a bad thing. It was a blessing though that The Last Sentinel didn't have more money as it would just have been wasted. I'm sure that Jesse Johnson knows his stuff when it comes to stunts, but he certainly doesn't know anything at all about direction, scene or character development. Not for me I'm afraid.