One Last Dance revisted
Just rewatched One Last Dance (2005, dir. Max Makowski) last night and liked it much more upon another viewing. It starts a bit slowly but once Francis Ng shows up, playing a world-weary contract killer in nocturnal Singapore, the film’s focus snaps into place and he carries the movie after that. The film’s non-linear narrative is much easier to follow the second time around and, although there are some rough patches in the movie, there are also several pretty interesting moments. Notable among these are a scene in which Francis’s hitman character evades several security cameras at a Singapore train station and an amusing exchange with a prepubescent girl in which she and Francis discuss the meaning of life. Francis also gets into a staring contest (guess who wins?) and, as mentioned in a previous post, has a classic scene in which he extracts information with the help of plastic wrap, scotch tape and a fork.
The film wraps up its unconventional structure fairly well by the end of the movie and Francis delivers another subtle and nuanced performance that occasionally explodes into swift and efficient violence. There are a few moments of slapstick humor that some Western viewers might find jarring but anyone familiar with the rapid-fire genre-switching found in many Asian films should be able to deal with it. Definitely worth a look.
Interestingly enough, Brazilian-born director Makowski has been attached to direct a couple Hollywood films on the strength of this picture, though it never received stateside distribution. Makowski’s slated to direct the live-action version of Voltron as well as a big-screen version of the lamentable 1970s television series Kung Fu. Also attached, though his role is yet to be clarified, is none other than Francis Ng. Surely he’s too old play Caine–hopefully they’ll find him a better part than the old blind guy with the pebbles in his hand.