Last Chase, The
Reviewed by John Milner
Rating: 9 Beans
t is the future, and the world is out of gas. You know this, because in an early shot, a gas pump comes off like the Holy Grail. I’d like to say that “the Last Chase” also runs out of gas, but then it never really makes it out of neutral. (Last fuel-related pun, I promise!) Lee Majors (of “The Six Million Dollar Man”) plays Franklyn (don’t call me Frank) Hart, a former race car driver who now works at the Mass Transit Authority in turn-of-the- 21st-century Boston. He spends his days moping around, longing for the old days, back in the 80s, before the fuel shortage got so out of hand, they closed down McDonalds and cancelled the World Series (an unintentionally funny bit there!). Oh, yeah, and he does a little melencholy voice-over on the side. Meanwhile, he’s being watched by a Big Brother-like government agency, run by what looks like character named Hawkins (George Touliatos of “The Final Cut”)...think LBJ-gone-bad.
Of course, Lee/Franklyn working alone against the might of some evil government agency wouldn’t be very interesting (heaven forbid this movie should get boring), so they toss in Chris Makepeace (My Bodyguard) as his young would-be assistant, Ringer. Ringer, of course, is just your average misunderstood computer hacker sent to boarding school, basically his character in “My Bodyguard” crossed with Matthew Broderick’s from “Wargames”. After a run-in with the police (who travel around in golf carts), Franklyn and Ringer set off for California in Franklyn’s old race car. Somehow, we are supposed to believe that despite a worldwide gas shortage, they can get a car from Boston to California, at 140 mph. To the film’s credit, Hawkins does explain that, by using a special pump, Franklyn can get enough gas to make the trip. Hey, at least they didn’t expect us to believe they’d get stuck in traffic.
Going from mildly goofy to downright evil, Hawkins decides that Frank and Ringer’s little joyride will mean the end of the world as he knows it and enlists the help of Korean War pilot Captain JG Williams (Burgess Meridith of “Rocky”) to restore an old 1950s Sabre jet and go after them. So, the worldwide gas shortage did leave enough gas to also fuel a jet on a cross-America chase AND the only person who still remembers how to fly is a guy in his 70s. If I get this straight, its 2000-something, and the guy who played the Penquin is flying a 50s-era jet after the Six Million Dollar Man and the kid from “Meatballs” in an 80s-era race car. Hoo-kay!
I won’t spoil the ending, although you can see it coming a mile away, and has that “I don’t feel like writing anymore, let’s just tack on a quick, convenient ending and call ‘er a day!” feel to it. I will say this: Williams catches up with Ringer and Franklyn while they are washing the car. (I kid you not!)
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