Kev and Chook are on the road – Kev a forty something year old man with a rocky history, Chook his ten year old son. Where they are going is a mystery as is how they will get there but the two must continue moving. Clearly something has gone badly wrong but what, exactly, is something Kev is determined to keep Chook from learning but though Chook may be young he’s not stupid and he knows full well that their switching from car to bus, sleeping in the open and picking up supplies any way they can isn’t normal …
Much like The Ape, which screened earlier in the festival and is reviewed here – Last Ride is a crime movie completely unconcerned with the crime itself, both of them focused entirely on what comes next. With his gorgeously realized road movie, Ivin takes us through Austalia’s back ways, capturing the intricate relationship between this man and his son with remarkable intimacy.
As Kev, Hugo Weaving gives what may very well be the best performance of his career. Weaving plays Kev as a deeply flawed man, one who is struggling to hold on to the last meaningful thing in his life. He is not at all oblivious to the damage he could be doing his son on this trip but is, instead, so desperate to believe that he can leave the past behind and start fresh that he willfully ignores the possible consequences. Prone to sudden bursts of violence it is, nevertheless, perfectly clear that Kev loves his son deeply and wants nothing more than to find a way out. As Chook, first time actor Tom Russell is an absolute revelation, the young actor taking to the camera in general and this role in particular as if he were born to them. Last Ride is arguably Chook’s film even more than Kev’s, with the pair of them occupying every single scene, and Russell is more than up to the task, delivering a natural, effortless performance that is sure to draw attention and praise around the globe.
Shot and edited with a sense of beauty and grace that serves as a potent counter to the underlying content of the film, Last Ride is a rhythmic, engrossing and deeply affecting film.