The Last Deal

February 6, 202360/1005 min
Starring
Anthony Molinari, Sala Baker, Mister Fitzgerald
Written by
Jonathan Salemi
Directed by
Jonathan Salemi
Run Time
1h 31min
Release Date
February 7th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

Most mainstream movies have always painted Los Angeles as a paradise on earth and a place where dreams come true. Behind that filter though is a city with a lot of rough edges, we just don’t see them on film that often. That is of course unless you know where to look, and that edgier L.A. is usually shown in smaller films, ones that don’t have, money to cover up the cities warts. Jonathan Salemi’s new film The Last Deal is one such film, and L.A. never looked better.

                 Set in the time right before weed was to become legal, we meet a man named Vincent (Anthony Molinari), a medicinal weed dealer who is doing pretty, pretty, good. Proposition 64 though is about to rain on his parade, as his high living life-style is about to come to an end. Now instead of earning money and keeping his business afloat it has become a struggle. Where once Vincent has a team of drivers, he now is delivering himself as thanks to bureaucracy, he can only be a carrier. So now it is just him and his partner Bobby ( Mister Fitzgerald), who helps Vincent collect debts. Needless to say Vincent is trying his best to come up with a way to survive and Bobby might have an idea how. All they need is $100,000 cash to buy some product and Vincent and Bobby will be back in the driver’s seat again. Things though get complicated, and to add to thatVincent’s girlfriend Tabitha ( Jeffri Lauren) is pregnant. Now all Vincent has to do is find a way to survive and to protect everything that is important to him.

Salemi, who wrote and directed what feels like a mid-tier Miami Vice episode, with synthesizer music and all. That is not to be taken as a knock against the film, as Salemi makes L.A. look like an angelic version of hell. The movie definitely looks the part of a good crime thriller, but it is Molinari that makes it all work with his portrayal as Vincent. Molinari is for sure not the usual guy you see in films like this, as he is usually outmatched in his physical confrontations and he doesn’t even know where to buy a gun when he needs one. Ultimately it is his playing Vincent as a more down to earth human that has made some mistakes and is now an ordinary guy in an extraordinary situation.

                 The Last Deal is not without its flaws, mainly not working in the final act as well at some times the first two as well, but overall it’s entertaining. I enjoyed the choice to put this story against the backdrop of the commercialization of recreational drugs. Although it does have a lot to say on that subject, it never comes off as preachy. The Last Deal always feels real and never tries to be bigger than it needs to be and for my money makes for a good choice for movie night.

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