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Review: To Your Last Death (2020)

A twisted synthesis of perplexity, To Your Last Death is Archer meets Saw meets Timecrimes. As far as animated movies go it is safe to say that To Your Last Death is breaking new ground and dimensions! Its 2D tangled tension begins with a stark voice-over narration from The Overseer (William Shatner) who informs the audience of the plight of Miriam DeKalb (Dani Lennon) who as we join her is fleeing a building by wielding an axe through various windows and anything else that gets in her path.

Miriam is taken to a hospital where she meets Detective Lang (Tom Lommel) who questions her about what happened. Miriam reveals what has happened but Lang does not believe her. Miriam is distraught but is suddenly visited by a mysterious woman known as The Gamemaster (Morena Baccarin). The Gamemaster presents Miriam with a choice to go back and do what she did all over again, with some rules and make a good show of it. Miriam agrees when she realises her current situation is far worse than she had anticipated.

As the demented, unhinged hero of the piece Miriam seems to have less of a clue to what is going on than the audience, but to be clear their is no dramatic irony here – the audience is just here to watch this hypnagogic rollercoaster unfold before their eyes. Soon though, Miriam is reunited with her four estranged siblings as they seek to finally confront their arms dealer billionaire father, Cyrus DeKalb (Ray Wise). Cyrus himself hates his children and wants revenger for them costing him in his bid be the vice president! You can’t choose your family!

With a voice cast that more than brings their characters to life, and enough twists, turns, blood, guts, and gore to keep even the most limited attention span entertained the biggest factor impacting on your enjoyment of this movie will be if you enjoy this kind of thing. Initially I was put off slightly by the animation style but as the plot developed I found myself travelling down the rabbit hole anyway and was along for the ride leaving me with one main issue – the plot. I do wonder if a shorter run time would have tied everything up a bit neater? For something that paid such close attention to detail all the way through it appeared to me the ending was slightly more messier than it needed to be.

Verdict: 7.5 out of 10. despite the slightly messy ending this could easily be the next big franchise in the making. I feel To Your Last Death will be one of those movies that improves with each viewing and you spot the more layered details you may have missed the first time. In a time of Disney recyclisation something was needed to stir the pot up and this more than does that job.

 

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