Movie Review: The Last Survivors (2014)

Synopsis: Ten years after the rain stops falling, Oregon has turned into a desert wasteland and a warlord terrorizes local farmers in an effort to monopolize the remaining water supply. An orphan, Kendal, attempts to keep herself and her friends alive while searching for a distributor cap that will fit the airplane she hopes to escape in.

Who's in it? The movie stars Haley Lu Richardson, Booboo Stewart, Max Charles, Jon Gries and Michael Welch.

Review: I came across this movie on Netflix a couple days ago and thought it looked somewhat interesting. As a result of that, my wife and I ended up watching the film over the past couple of evenings.

Mostly because I had not heard of this movie before and didn't recognize any of the actors, I didn't really know what to expect from this movie. However, it turned out to be a better film than I was expecting.

The film does drag a little bit in the beginning and, when my wife and I went to bed after watching the first half of it, I wasn't really sure if we would end up finishing it because of that. Fortunately, as the movie progresses and Kendal (Richardson) becomes more of a protagonist toward the local warlord, Carson (Gries), it does become considerably more interesting, especially when he starts making a more proactive effort to get rid of her.

Her relationship with Dean (Stewart) was also somewhat interesting. Her other friend, Alby (Charles) was younger but could take care of himself. Since Dean was dying and too weak to do much of anything, he was more of a liability than an ally. While it was hard to fault Kendal for being loyal t him, it did make me wonder how she was going to manage to escape with him in tow when the plane was some distance away and he could barely walk. Not to mention, some of his advice nearly got her killed.

My biggest complaint about this movie is it doesn't give Carson enough depth. Basically, when I watched this movie, I couldn't tell if he was really a bad guy or if he was a good guy who was just forced to do bad things.

There were hints of the latter, especially with his apparent refusal to burn down the remnants of the former houses and other buildings (something that would otherwise seem like a logical step if he's trying to root out the people who are stealing his water). But, the movie never does a good job of explaining his overall role,  who (if anyone) he answers to or why he can't simply fix the plane (or another vehicle) himself and give everyone a chance to leave the area voluntarily. The movie was OK without that information, but I think it would have been better if he got a little more of a backstory.

Final Opinion: If you can stay awake through the first half of this film, it ends up being a half-way decent movie. I wouldn't put it on my list of favorites, but it is worth watching at least once.

My Grade: B


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