The Last Journey (Le dernier voyage)

The Last Journey (Le dernier voyage)
Running time:87 minutes
Director:Romain Quirot
Release date:19 may 2021
In the near future, a strange red moon is overexploited for its energy. As its trajectory changes and it heads straight for Earth, Paul W.R., the only astronaut capable of destroying it, refuses to accept the mission and disappears. Stalked relentlessly, Paul meets Elma, a teenager with an explosive temperament who will accompany him in his escape.

Mulder's Review

"I kept the idea that humanity is going straight into the wall, and that the hero no longer recognizes himself in it" - Romain Quirot

After two hundred days of closure, theaters can finally reopen in France and it can never be said enough that a film must first be discovered in the theater and then seen again at home to grasp all the subtleties and specially to see again the moments that made us love a film in question. For this long-awaited reunion, we were able to fully immerse ourselves in one of our favorite movie theaters in France (the one in Los Angeles remains the ArcLight Hollywood which has closed its doors) to discover a French sci-fi film, a rarity since the last one in memory remains Luc Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017). 

The Last Journey co-written and directed by Romain Quirot who signs here his first feature film by adapting his short film The Last Journey of the enigmatic Paul W.R. is certainly imperfect but easily wins our attention because we feel the presence behind the camera of a real passionate of French and American cinema. This devouring passion is felt not only by the care given to the special effects (all successful) but also to the music that accompanies the story. The result is a film that is certainly quite short but that holds us in suspense throughout the story and above all offers us a real immersion in a not-so-distant future in which the earth is, at first sight, living its last days.

The action takes place in a devastated world that seems to be dying due to the negligence of humans. As a red moon, shamelessly exploited by humans for its energy, lies near the earth, an alarming cry announces that it has changed its direction and is heading straight for the earth. The collision of this red moon with the earth would mean the end of our planet. The only one who can succeed in destroying this red moon is a certain Paul W.R. who, following his refusal to accomplish this mission, flees and finds himself in the middle of the desert pursued by a strange character but also by some kind of robots. Paul will however meet a young teenager, Elma, who will not only change his way of perceiving the world but also have an important role. 

Of course, the scenario is not totally original and we can feel the influence of many directors such as David Cronenberg, Luc Besson (the presence of the actor Jean Reno is not fortuitous), Georges Lucas (Star Wars), Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott on the way of apprehending the story of director Romain Quirot. However, for his first film, he is certainly gifted in making the most of limited means. Keeping the distance perfectly compared to some American blockbusters and especially benefiting from a very beautiful photography, The Last Journey is certainly a film made to be seen at the cinema as it succeeds in creating a real disturbing and apocalyptic atmosphere. 

The Last Journey is easily imposed by its willingness to rely on excellent actors like Hugo Becker (perfect in the lead role of Paul W.R), Paul Hamy (Elliott W.R), Lya Oussadit-Lessert (Elma) but also in important secondary roles Jean Reno (Henri W.R), Philippe Katerine (radio host) and Brunot Lochet (Cesar). This perfectly mastered casting gives the film a real freshness and a new breath far and above all testifies to the director's willingness to place the story at the very center of the film and to have actors ready to invest themselves in the first film of a director noticed until then for his ambitious short films. 

Another real surprise of The Last Journey are the numerous special effects of Digital District that give this film a very special aura. Whether it is the flying cars (obvious nod to Blade Runner), these shots of space, those apocalyptic that mark the story. Everything is certainly consistent with the great care taken by the director Romain Quirot to surround himself with an excellent team both in front and behind the camera. Certainly, since Luc Besson's science fiction films, we had rarely seen in France such a successful approach to this genre.

Contrary to some colleagues like Télérama who don't seem to have fully understood the scope of this film, we can only defend it, which shows that French cinema is capable of giving life to science fiction films as ambitious as they are successful. Certainly, Romain Quirot is a director to follow and whose The Last Journey marks a very promising beginning.

The Last Journey
Directed by Romain Quirot
Produced by David Danesi and Fannie Pailloux
Written by Romain Quirot, Antoine Jaunin and Laurent Turner
Starring Hugo Becker, Paul Hamy, Lya Oussadit-Lessert, Jean Reno, Philippe Katerine, Émilie Gavois-Kahn, Bruno Lochet, Jean-Luc Couchard
Music by Étienne Forget
Cinematography : Jean-Paul Agostini
Edited by Romain Quirot
Production companies : Apaches Films
Distributed by Tandem (France)
Release date : May 19, 2021 (France)
Running time : 87 minutes

Seen on May 19, 2021 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 10 seat A18

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