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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Last Shot cinematronic
  director

Jeff Nathanson

cast

Matthew Broderick, Alec Baldwin, Toni Collette, Tony Shalhoub, Callista Flockhart, Tim Blake Nelson, Buck Henry, Ray Liotta, James Rebhorn, Jon Polito

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  As movies about movie-making go, the middling comedy "The Last Shot" is definitely not the final word. It doesn't have much to say that hasn't been said with more wit and clarity in other films, but it delivers a handful of choice moments — most of them courtesy of Joan Cusack as a garrulous Hollywood agent with a prickly attitude and an insider's wisdom. If there's any interest in how "The Last Shot" plays out, it's because it was inspired by a real FBI sting operation built around a phony movie production. Given the wild root of the story and the presence of the talented, comically-adept players Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Toni Collette, Callista Flockhart, Tony Shalhoub, Ray Liotta and Cusack, the laughs should come quicker and have more sides-aching impact than they do. Baldwin is hapless FBI agent Joe Devine, stuck with a busy-work assignment to keep low-ranking mobster Tommy Sanz (Shalhoub) under surveillance. Deciding that a racketeering case against Sanz can be built by getting the thug involved with a fake film project, Joe passes himself off as a producer and finds a patsy to "make" the movie: inept wannabe writer/director Steven Schats (Broderick). Besides Cusack, regular gal-type Collette — as an addled, bleached-blond B-movie diva in an unlikely yet successful bit of casting — is the only actor to transcend a script that tries too hard for wacky hilarity and tends to crap out.  
cinematronic
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