The Last Supper (1995) Poster

(I) (1995)

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90's Political/Philosophical Dark Drama
FloatingOpera76 February 2005
This is one of the several dark dramas dealing with political/philosophical issues that seemed to invade the big screen in the 90's. Another prime example but with less heavy drama and more fantasy/comedy is Dogma starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. This 1995 film stars several actors that were big names in the 90's - Cameron Diaz, Bill Paxton and Jason Alexander. The story is very dark and bleak indeed. A group of young college-age liberal intellectuals meet daily to discuss the "enemy" that are conservative extremist and anyone they feel are full of "hate". Though well-meaning and clearly sensitive people, they begin to justify a series of murders. These murders are committed as they invite individuals they despise and disagree with politically and philosophically. They poison the wine using a blue decanter. Visually and dramatically, the movie is one of the few good dark movies that came out of the 90's. Art direction in the film seems to gravitate towards symbolic Diego Rivera style art, especially during the opening and closing credits.

I feel that some of these then unknown actors (mainly Cameron Diaz and Bill Paxton) were overly dramatic in their roles but then again they were struggling to get recognized as actors. This was still before Bill Paxton would enjoy success in later films such as "Titanic" in 1997 and also "Twister" which he starred opposite Helen Hunt. Cameron Diaz came on the Hollywood map with "Something About Mary". Even like this, their dramatic acting is logical and believable. The leader of the group of friends is the most brainwashed of the bunch, nearly conducting himself as a cult leader. In a way, this movie looks at how a cult can function. Also this movie is a caution tale: there is possibility for evil in both the extreme conservatism and extreme liberalism. It seems quite appropriate a story for today's divided country. It's sad to say America is losing its democratic roots in favor of an elitist and partisan climate. I found to be a great and poignant movie.
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Made me think, might make you think too! great movie!
allmighty_miller18 January 2005
A fantastic movie demonstrating the self righteousness of people on the far left and right of the political spectrum: "I'm right, your wrong, end of story". It's very rare that a film which might be described as a political dark comedy shows the faults of people on the right and left who know that they're always right and it demonstrates that there's really no right or wrong (the homophobic priest wishes to kill all gays, but then the students kill him. Who's right and who's wrong? I suppose it depends on who YOU agree with.). I'm left of centre on many domestic social issues, but this movie made me stand back and think "am i sure I'm always right?". People to the far left or right believe in themselves so much that this movie wont change their views, but I treat people people with conflicting views with a bit more respect today. Fantastic movie!
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I love the ending!
http-www-nixflix-com3 February 2002
I must say, I'm not what you would call a liberal. I'm a Democrat, but I don't consider myself one of those "limousine liberal" -- re: rich, white middle-class people who have never endured poverty in their live, and yet somehow can "feel" for those currentlys uffering. Yeah, right!

All that side, this is a wickedly funny movie and completely unpredictable. I love the intense scenes with the cop and when the liberals start to contemplate rather they should kill or not kill their dinner "guests." it's just great stuff!

Imagine, all these "tolerant" liberals sitting around judging people on what they say and starting to actually LIKE killing. Pretty soon they're killing because of the power of killing, not because they want to "rid the world of evil" -- which, ironically, they've become, since they're knocking off everyone and their mom, including the cop, who is just doing her job.

As the saying goes, "I can't tolerate intolerable people!"

And stay for the ending. It's a KILLER! Ron Perlman is GREAT.
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"I say we bury the cracker and have dessert."
fdpedro26 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
It's hard to review politically-themed movies without bringing out your political ideology. So here we go: Like the characters in this film, I am a liberal. THE LAST SUPPER deals with five idealistic left-wing college students who are also roommates. Their names? Jude (Cameron Diaz), Marc (Jonathan Penner), Luke (Courtney B. Vance), Paulie (Annabelle Girsh), and Pete (Ron Eldard). Get it? Jude, Marc, Luke, Paulie, and Pete? Last Supper?

Well, with these elements of symbolism aside, here is the concept of the film: A bunch of liberals inviting conservatives for communal dinners and killing them after the slightest disagreement! How many people here can honestly say they never thought of that? When the film opens, four of the friends are waiting for the last one (Pete) to arrive during a dark, stormy night. Meanwhile, they religiously watch a conservative political figure (Ron Perlman) on television like they usually do. When Pete finally arrives, he invites Zack (Bill Paxton) the trucker that gave him a ride to dinner. But during the feast, a political discussion starts burning up. Zack is a right-wing extremist who fought on Desert Storm ("Was that even a war? I always thought it was a Republican propaganda.") and thinks Hitler was right about many things. When the discussion turns into a series of puns exchanged between Luke and Zack, a violent struggle ensues with Zack eventually being stabbed in the back. Soon, the friends start reacting to the murder on their different ways. Paulie is in hysterics, Luke keeps his calm cold-blooded figure, and Jude remains sarcastic. ("People disappear all the time." "Especially in Iowa, we probably just saved him from an alien abduction.")

After covering up the body, the five apostles decide to repeat the process. Luke has an interesting concept: If you could go back in time and kill Hitler when he was a frustrated student, would you do it? And so begins the body count: Their guests usually consist of the kind of pathetic people one left-winger usually hates. One of them is a homophobe priest (Charles Durning) who affirms homosexuality is the disease and AIDS is the cure. Can you really blame these people for wanting to poison the fellow? This scene is incredibly well done, from the first-rate dialogue exchange from the students to Charles Durning's perfectly timed acting. Annabelle Girsh's hilarious death sentence just has to be seen. ("I think it's time for dessert.")

As the group continues to "make the world a better place," their victims start to become less and less threatening from a date rapist (Mark Harmon) to a spoiled teenager (Bryn Erin) who sues her school because they are making sexual education mandatory. Unfortunately, none of these scenes end up having the same dramatic (and comic) impact as the first two because they are unbelievably brief, leaving the audience gasping for more. The film soon endures the machine gun-editing technique of putting up about 30 scenes in six minutes set to a carefully-selected pop tune in order to sell the soundtrack.

There is a subplot involving the disappearance of a young girl who is being searched by the local police department headed by Sheriff Stanley (Nora Durnn) which look like they belong to a different and more serious movie. This is actually unusual since you would expect the goofier moments to come from an ex-SNL cast member. Or should you? The answer as to why these scenes are even in there comes much later on in the film. Frankly, Nora Durnn's scenes (Not counting the ones where she actually interacts with the students) could have all used some cuts.

Character interaction could cause another serious pet-peeve to audiences who relate to the people on-screen. The only character who seriously remains constant throughout the entire picture is Luke, while the others all seem to switch personalities. In one scene, Paulie is extremely against the killings while Judy is totally for it. But later on (In one of the film's funniest sequences) the actresses seem to switch roles. A hysterical Judy ends up screaming out that they shouldn't be killing people while Paulie coldly replies: "They are not people, they are people who hate!" The Pete character is seriously undeveloped while Marc is hardly any better.

The film does eventually pick up with the very last victim they choose, which I won't spoil. Not counting the suspenseful showdown, nothing really happens during the last 15 minutes but dialogue exchange in the dinner table bringing up usual liberal vs. conservative topics, and there is where the movie truly shines like it did with the beginning. It's a shame it had to end, really. Conservatives bashed this film as the ultimate proof that liberals run Hollywood, not realizing the film does defend them to one extent. It doesn't matter how "fun" the characters' concept seems to be, it's still sick and it goes against one of the major freedoms that liberals should be defending: The freedom of speech.

Out of the film's then-unknown lead actors, the only one that really made it to be a star is obviously Cameron Diaz. But no matter how underdeveloped the characterization is, all the actors are able to keep us entertaining. Courtney B. Vance and Ron Perlman seem to own the film during the last moments. As for the dinner-guests, they end up being more well-known cameos. Aside from Durning, Harmon, and Paxton, get ready to see Jason Alexander having a (short) blast as an anti-environmentalist businessman.

THE LAST SUPPER is still one strong freedom of speech defense argument well-directed by Stacey Tile who heads up an interesting young cast and a well-done premise. Had the film remained in the dinner table more often, it could have been easily one of my favorite black comedies. Now… wouldn't this be interesting as an actual thriller?

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Wicked black political satire
BadWebDiver7 August 2002
This is a wicked black political satire of some left-wing intellectuals who decide to strike against right-wing "extremists". It has an excellent cast, especially with Courtney B Vance, Ron Perlman, and Cameron Diaz (who is a real surprise).

It also has a brilliantly witty script, like a 90s Oscar Wilde or George B Shaw with more sharper bite. I thought the setup and the climax were particularly effective, especially at handling complex political questions with an easy-to watch and a very engaging approach(which I have to say IMHO is rare for American movies). A totally professional production all round. This is the way smart independent films should be, and it's a shame not all of them are this clever or perceptive.

Obviously not meant for all tastes, but if you're fairly open-minded and like intelligent dark satire, this is a real treat.
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Well worth a gander
hayden-820 May 2002
This is a film that can be viewed on two levels.

The first level is that of a straightforward black comedy. Five liberal students, who think they have the answers to all the world's ills, have their comfortable world invaded by a redneck racist who is invited in for supper after coming to the aid of one of the students when he has car trouble. Naturally there is a clash of politics and, after a violent argument, the racist is accidentally killed. They decide to bury him in their garden instead of reporting the killing. What follows is a continuation of an earlier debate they had been having; would people be justified in murdering someone if they knew he was evil? Their answer is yes, and soon they are inviting other rightwingers for an evening of dinner, debate and death. On the first level the film is okay.

It is on the second, more cerebral level, that the film really succeeds. The great irony is that the liberals become intolerant, revealing the dangers of political correctness and the very real possibility of a left-wing police state in which alternative views are crushed in the name liberal values.

A good soundtrack, some sparkling cameos by the dinner guests, and a knockout performance by Ron Perlman as the conservative commentator make this largely overlooked comedy well worth a gander.
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A true hidden gem. Another Paxton triumph
Dan Grant22 June 1999
It was a warm summer night and I was in the video store with my girlfriend. " Hey, this movie has that guy Bill Paxton in it, isn't that the guy you like? " I thought I had seen every Paxton movie out there but I was pleasantly surprised that there was one that I hadn't seen. So we rented it and even though Bill has a small cameo in the film, I enjoyed this film more than I thought I would. First the acting by the major actors is incredible and all the cameos by famous faces is fun to watch. Luke ( Courtney B. Vance ) is my favourite character in the movie. He seems to be a little more intelligent, a little more sinister and a little more angry than the rest of them. And it is his persona that I look forward to seeing in every scene. I looked forward to see what he was going to come out with next. What sick, twisted but convincing point of view that he would coerce his cronies into believing.

The story is about a few friends that are liberals at heart. They have their pretentious meals and drink their pretentious wine every night and talk about what is wrong with the world. Then Paxton comes into the picture and he changes everything.

This film didn't get a whole lot of attention when it came out, but now with Paxton's star clearly on the rise after Titanic and A Simple Plan and Cameron Diaz in the upper echelon of actresses, this film may appeal to more people. And you should do yourself a favour and make yourself one of those people. This is a great film. And besides the entertainment value, it really has something interesting to say. Deciding whether or not you agree with it is half the fun.
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Stephanie what ARE you thinking!?
LeBloke19 December 1998
Warning: Spoilers
Stephanie. You seem to have missed the whole point of the film. Oh dear. So you presumed that the whole premise of the film was to show that these liberal thinking students were totally right, and that everybody else was wrong?? So, why did they all end up insane? Why did they end up dead? Why did the right wing television personality come out on top, instead of buried in the tomato garden? ..I think the thing that upset me the most was that Cameron Diaz's character was killed also, so tragic wouldn't you say?
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Witty and provocative
troutio26 March 2002
Cerebral, subversive, intelligent, knowing, and thought-provoking, The Last Supper is one of the highlights of my video collection. It is also archly funny, for those who like their humour black and strong. The performances from the ensemble cast (even Diaz, who you might have thought was there for box office alone) are uniformly superb, and the director uses clever imagery and other visual tools to help the story along, lifting it above what could otherwise have been a simplistic cinematic piece. Ron Perlman's boisterous conservative steals the show expertly, and you are left laughing and shuddering with equal measure for a long time after the credits roll. Recommended to everyone with a brain.
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fierstein23 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This movie would've been a hoot amongst some of the pseudo-intellectual Arts students when first released. But it was rubbish, the politically incorrect dinner guests were all crude stereotypes, and the ethical 'discussions' at the dinner parties would have been better left as an msn conversation rather than turning it into a script and subjecting viewers to sit through it.

So in short, this is a movie about a group of lefties, who despite the lefty catchcry of tolerance, murder a bunch of people who hold differing opinions to them. Now dark humour can be funny, if accompanied with some humour to begin with. But this wasn't funny. Unless one finds the murders in themselves to be funny? It came across as being nothing more than the scriptwriters deepest fantasy, that he tried to turn into a lighthearted romp. Perhaps someone from the other end of the political spectrum should rewrite 'The Turner Diaries' as a dark and witty comedy. I wonder if there will be the same lack of outrage that accompanies the release of these kind of movies. Perhaps Mel Gibson might direct it? I hope you dear readers perceive that I'm being sarcastic...
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Looked like a straight to video stinkeroo
general-3522 June 2008
A group of self-righteous liberals decide to start killing people who have beliefs different from their own. Their victims emerge from leftist central casting and are typical caricatures as viewed by their murderers. Apparently anyone who disagrees with their world view and doesn't repent during dinner deserves to die.

This just happened to be on HBO when I turned the channel and the description sounded interesting enough, and there were recognizable actors in it. Figured it might not be too bad.

The production values themselves seem relatively OK, its just the story and acting that is weak beyond belief. How they got any recognizable names into this stink fest is the real mystery here.
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What if...
jtpaladin25 October 2003
I'm thinking, "What if I didn't waste time watching this trash, disguised as entertainment?" Would I have done something more productive? I think, yes. Even if I spent the entire time banging my head against the wall for the whole time, it would have been a far better endeavor than watching this trash.

While ultimately this film tries to make you think about tolerating the opinion of the next person, it conducts its' lesson by creating conservative stereotypes as manifested by left-wingers. So if the roles had been reversed, liberals would be screaming about this film years later. But since the Hollywood community is controlled by left-wingers, you don't hear a peep out of anyone in that industry about the horrible personalities created by this film.

The sad thing is that the characters created in this film are really how Hollywood sees conservatives. Left-wingers actually create these people and truly believe that this is the way conservatives think and act. Of course, conservatives don't think and act as depicted in this film but left-wingers don't understand this point. This is the main reason why liberalism is a dying idealogy in the U.S. It's an idealogy that just doesn't get it. It creates enemies that don't exist and in fighting these imaginary enemies, their real opponents walk away the victor.

This might have been a good film if the "conservatives" in the film were real. That their opinions were those of real conservatives. But the problem would have been that the liberal characters would have been seen in a far worse light than just murderers; they would have been seen as irrational lunatics that can't see reason. And that's not what the director was trying to show. The idea was to show liberals as being well-intentioned yet mistaken in their methods.

If they had done the film correctly, conservatives would be invited to supper, they would have explained real-world thinking to the liberals, and the liberals would have killed the conservatives simply because they could not grasp what mainstream America already embraces as its' philosophy. But, again, this would have taken the film in too far of a supportive perspective of conservatives and that's certainly not acceptable to the producers of this poorly conceived tripe.
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It's just balls.
Binky-1113 December 1999
To get it out of the way, I have to say that I found The Last Supper to be pretty much the worst film I've seen for a long time. And that's including RoboCop 3. I accept it's a low budget film, but that's no excuse for the leaden script, the bizarre pacing and direction, and basically wasting what little effort was put into it. The guest stars were all good - indeed, Ron Pearlman was the most likeable character in the film, and I'm talking about his 'fascist politician' scenes, too.

There is nothing to recommend about this movie - the characters are obnoxious and self-assured wannabe standup comedians. My friends and I sat stoney faced as one liner after failed one liner dropped limply from the 'clever and witty script'.

There were moments when character development threatened to appear, as some sort of depth was introduced to the 2D stars, only for it to vanish as if it had wandered in only by accident and didn't want to cause a fuss.

In fact, the characterisation was possibly the reason I hated this film so much. It seems the writers were too busy trying to show the friends enjoying each others' company so much that they forgot to include any reason why. As best I could tell, it seemed they all got together for the conversation/meal evenings purely so they could compete in witty banter and grin.

And for some reason there was an odd are-they-aren't-they sexual tension between the dark haired woman and the black guy that went nowhere and did nothing other than take up valuable story time. Which was probably the point - the entire film could have been condensed to a five minute short, and would have benefitted innumerably from the need to cut the chaff.

The almost final scene, in the kitchen (I won't give any details away, for those who want to see it.) was almost farcical, as the mood violently swung in directions I didn't think possible. The conclusion was obvious, inconclusive, unsatisfying and ultimately reflected the movie as a whole. I guess, in that sense, you could call it a success.

To sum up, this bites. A stellar cast and an intriguing premise result in the worst film of the nineties. Burn it. It must be stopped.
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Contrived to the limits of believability
ACR-316 October 1999
What an amazingly contrived film this is! It makes a cheap attempt at intellectualism - proposing a controversial angle on liberal activists' non-action - but falls far short of developing this into something meaningful. The occassional image-manipulation of footage is a poor attempt at casting this as an "art" film - these flimsy cliches left me cold. The characters are clearly underdeveloped and out of touch with reality - as must the scriptwriter be! Choose this film only as a desperate last resort.
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Warning: may cause indigestion!
ONMeany26 July 1999
No wonder none of the characters succeed in convincing any of their guests to change their minds -- these people are so superficial and inarticulate they must surely be grad students in one of those degree-mills that advertises in the back of magazines. If Courtney B. Vance's character is a Ph.D. candidate in political science, how come he hasn't already figured out what Ron Perlman's character has to say about extremists and centrists? "You've never even had sex!" is supposed to deflate the argument of the teenager opposed to mandatory sex education? Of course, this is about as intelligent as the debates get. The rest of the time they just giggle when someone says something they don't like, or resort to infantile name-calling. The whole movie is a chore, but it has given me a good idea. What if a group of people started inviting over directors, screenwriters, producers and actors who made stupid movies that insult the viewer's intelligence, and murdering them???
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Jaded, occasionally funny, but dead-on
Dave-3302 May 1999
This movie is not really a comedy, dark, light or any other kind. The movie is very jaded and cynical in its presentation. The plot goes that the group of five kill off dinner guests weekly. With lots of colorful symbolism, a slew of cameos, and strong performances by 3 out of the 5 group members, this movie grew on me after viewing it and thinking back on what I witnessed. I'm not going to give away anything but the last 20 minutes of this movie more than make up for the flaws, which there still are a quite a few. The first knock I have on this movie is that Cameron Diaz's and Annebeth Gish's performances are not really that great. Diaz is cast as one of the most important characters, but her acting ability is tested greatly as she has to deliver most of her lines behind a table, without her best attribute (her body) showing. Her weak ability to speak her lines becomes obvious with the excellent performances of the rest of the cast. Gish's problem is the weakness of the character, because she plays the one of the five that could have easily been written out.

Other problems in this movie are not as important. One is that half way through the movie becomes repetitive. The director shoots this part quickly, and with a tongue in cheek style, but it still comes across dull. The policewoman character is added to the story and is pointless and just used as a character builder and attitude change for one of the five.

All criticism aside, watch this movie. If it gets to the middle and you aren't sure you want to finish it, FAST FORWARD and watch the end. The speech given is perhaps one of the best political speeches I have heard in a film. The final 20 minutes is the 1 inch layer of icing on a partly damaged cake.
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An amazing documentation of modern liberal "tolerance"
mhagan20 July 2002
This film is offensive and obnoxious but it pretends to be intellectual and thought provoking. It's all based on the ethical question "is it moral to kill someone if you know they will eventually incite or motivate others to kill?". However, except in the case of a child murderer, the characters just kill ordinary people with right wing political beliefs. Of course, in all instances the right wingers are cartoon-like one-dimensional yokels while their murderers(the heroes of the film) are deep thinkers who anguish over the decision to kill others not for what they've done but what they say and believe. At first I thought it was a satire on liberals who pretend to endorse tolerance but have not an ounce of it for anyone who doesn't share their views. I was a bit taken back when I realized it was quite serious. The film even concludes that's it's morally righteous to kill a right wing pundit if it prevent him/her from someday rising to the office of President. I predict this film will be referred to in the future as an example of the disconnection of Hollywood and mainstream America.
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... feh.
queenofsuicides22 June 2004
"The Last Supper" has a lot going for it. It makes fun of both ultra-right-wingers and of self-righteous left-wingers. Like "The Sixth Sense", it uses the color red to carefully dye the house of the roommates until it appears to be dripping in blood. It shows the corruption of the mind which will inevitably occur as a result of murder, and it displays the old saw about how the road to Hell is paved in good intentions.

Problem? The acting is pretty dry. None of the roommates are remotely likable, and their inevitable comeuppance loses some of its punch as a result. All of the characters, both the executioners and their prey, are excessively one-sided and flat, and no one is making the slightest effort to give any of their characters depth. The result makes the film a bit hard to sit through.
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Fantastic Theme!
b-gaist3 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
An unusual dark comedy about the unconscious forces which propel all ideology, whether it be of the conservative right-wing, or liberal left-wing variety. In its premise, it reminded me a little of the play "Le Malentendu" (The Misuderstanding) by Camus. Sure, some of the acting was a bit wooden and yes, the characters did lack depth, but there is little space for depth of character development in a movie of this genre anyway. The questions it asks are philosophical, about the nature of the human mind in general: hence the way Marc and his girlfriend at first were turned on, then gradually became estranged as their gratuitous villainy became more conscious was a comment on the dark side of sexuality; the same comment was made about human aggression when the character who shot clay pigeons for a hobby suddenly decides to shoot a real live bird - in fact, that seems to be a decisive moment in the film, the expression on the character's face when he shoots the bird says it all. It may be unpleasant to think about these aspects of our nature, but I wish more intelligent films like this came out of Hollywood.
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Underrated piece of work
eric-14428 March 1999
Warning: Spoilers
Why this movie did not make it to theatres is beyond me. Very underrated with excellant work by all the actors. 5 liberal friends invite a man over to dinner and in the course of a shuffle kill him. As it turned out their beliefs were different from him they wonder if the world would be a better place if people that were like him (i.e. racist, homophobic,etc) were not here anymore. So they invite people over for dinner and give them a chance before they off them. Very well written acted and directed and a very good ending with the five jerks getting what they deserved. Just rent it!!!!
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a serious waste of time...
evajane-a17 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
this movie was not intelligent or funny - just a strange sign on the times... it might have been thought-provoking for some, but i found it extreme, over the top, unnecessary, gratuitous (!), and, well, kinda gross. way, way too obvious - oh, "liberals" killing "conservatives" is hypocritical? no way.

the scene in which the kids kill the priest was particularly upsetting. supposed to be a joke, yes, but the man was depicted with too much humanity for the humor to come across with any force whatsoever - it felt pathetic, instead.

flat, boring, upsetting in all the wrong ways. only reason i'm not giving it a score of 1 is that it kept my attention - initially - long enough that i had to watch the whole damn thing.
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A place at the table...
Merwyn Grote22 December 2004
The dark and slippery satire THE LAST SUPPER is an Orwellian farce, which, whether or not it intends to be, represents the distasteful course that American liberalism has taken over the past few decades. As a meal, THE LAST SUPPER hopes to serve up food for thought, but proves to be more fast food than grand cuisine. And, before we end the lame and obvious food metaphors, let's just say the film has a meaty premise, but is hard to swallow because it is half-baked -- okay, three-quarters baked.

The plot is simple: five rather smug and pretentiously liberal graduate students in Iowa, the heartland of American conservatism, have a weekly ritual of inviting a guest to Sunday dinner so that they can have philosophical conversations about politics. Apparently meant to be self-indulgent and self-congratulating chatter more than real debate, the intellectual hour goes astray when an unexpected guest proves to be a far right lunatic who expresses his sympathy for Adolph Hitler. Before the dessert gets served, it is the guest who gets carved up and the new Sunday night ritual becomes supper and a homicide. After some superficial debate, the housemates decide that they would be doing the world a favor by disposing of potential Hitlers before they became real life Hitlers. It is liberal activism taken to its not-necessarily-logical extreme.

Their guest list (of cameo guest stars) begins with the lunatic war vet (Bill Paxton), a homophobic priest (Charles Durning), a male chauvinist (Mark Harmon) and an anti-environmentalist (Jason Alexander), but quickly degenerates to lesser villains (played by lesser actors) that include an anti-abortion activist, a librarian who dares to object to "The Catcher in the Rye" and a virginal teenage girl who doesn't approve of sex education in school. The checklist of villains (in rapidly declining order) is obviously meant to show how easily the power to destroy can become indiscriminate and, indeed, addictive.

The film has been deemed anti-conservative by some because the supposed heroes are lefties and their victims are from the right and, at least at first, espouse only the most extreme notions of conservatism. But the point is that the various dinner guests do not represent typical conservative thought, but are grotesque caricatures of right wingers. The war vet -- seen through far left eyes -- can't be just patriotic, he has to be a crazed fascist. The priest can't merely see homosexuality as a sin, he has to be virulent in his hatred. The anti-feminist has to be a proponent of rape. Etc., etc., etc. The quintet of killers are not heroes or even anti-heroes, or even psychopaths, but clean-cut, well-educated, well-intentioned typical liberals who become drunk with their own sense of self-righteousness. Their hunt to destroy future Hitlers blinds them to the reality that they are the future Hitlers. For what was Hitler, but a man who thought he could build a better society by eliminating the undesirables? The right-wing victims are such obvious caricatures that they do not inspire anger or hate, but uncomfortable humor, not unlike guest stars doing a skit on "Saturday Night Live." The weakness -- or perhaps the point -- of the left wing assassins is that they are so blandly uninteresting as individuals. This preppy death squad -- Ron Eldard, Cameron Diaz, Annabeth Gish, Jonathan Penner and Courtney B. Vance -- are so homogenized and banal as individuals that they only can be moved to action as a group. The message is that Hitler alone couldn't accomplish much, but a group willing to rationalize any atrocity as a means to a just end is the real danger to society.

It is as a critique of modern liberalism in the era of political correctness that the film is boldly, almost brazenly, sly. The groundbreaking liberalism of the 1960s, a call of dissent in the name of openness and equality, has slowly faded into the background. Diversity has become the liberal buzz word, but it is, literally, skin deep diversity, not diversity of thought. It is said that we become that which we hate the most and as such liberal idealism has increasingly become a dogma of intolerance, double standards and self-indulgence. Liberalism is no longer the antithesis of conservatism, it is the mirror image.

Of course the basic message of THE LAST SUPPER could have been told as well, but differently, with the political roles reversed. Indeed, had the film been made in the 1960s, I suspect that it would be conservatives serving the wine to liberals -- and I suspect that the film would have been satirically sharper and more outrageous. Certainly, in that case, the film's casual religious symbolism might have made sense, religion being a favored main dish to the right. But as is, THE LAST SUPPER's attempts to mock religion seem like a lame afterthought -- an ill-considered seasoning, as it were.

The film is better as a concept rather than a story and lacks a punch. Instead of being spicy or zesty or deliciously decadent, THE LAST SUPPER seems to be served up as something that is good for you, nutritious rather than satisfying. Especially the finale when the last Last Supper is with a conservative talk show host played by Ron Perlman, who may or may not be the Hitler that the we are taunted with throughout the other meals. Just desserts are served up with an ambiguous twist that is as jiggly uncertain as Jell-O. THE LAST SUPPER makes the worst social faux pas of all by sending its viewers away only half filled and hungry for something more.
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vchimpanzee10 February 2005
A group of graduate students invite people (one at a time) for dinner and discussion. Their first guest in this movie is Zachary, a truck driver and Desert Storm vet who believes Hitler had the right idea, that Jews stole then and steal now, that the Holocaust was an exaggeration, that liberals accomplish nothing and they wouldn't be able to fight if they had to. He gets the others so riled that ... well, I won't say. But the students begin discussing the ethics of going back in time, if it were possible, to stop Hitler. Would they kill him or merely try to convince him he was wrong? Meanwhile, Zachary may be a suspect in a kidnapping.

Guest no. 2 is the kindly Rev. Hutchens, who believes the relatives of AIDS victims deserve no comfort. After all, those who got AIDS committed a mortal sin for which there should be no forgiveness. The dinners continue, with guests expressing more and more outlandish opinions. Some are not jerks, such as the sweet teenage girl who believes sex education should not be taught because family values are more important. And then there is wacko TV commentator Norman Arbuthnot, who may go into politics but probably shouldn't because he appears to be as demented as Hitler. Meanwhile, the students begin arguing more and more, while the garden never looked better. It's a special fertilizer they're using.

If this is a comedy, it's a very dark one. But I couldn't help laughing as ... continued improvements to the garden were made. And some of the weird opinions expressed were really funny. I didn't like the students--or their way of dealing with those who disagreed--but I did like Charles Durning a lot as the good Reverend, even if I didn't care for his opinions. And Bill Paxton did quite a good job as Zachary.

The best thing about the movie is that it gets a person thinking about other people's views and how bad it is to have unpopular opinions. We have freedom of speech in this country, and the right to our opinions, and this is what it means.
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Stupid movie!
Steff-810 October 1998
Very stupid! All of the guests but the abortion activist had very logical point of views and this movie just proves how young people like the 5 hosts know nothing about life. They have opposite point of views of everything that is logic and, unfortunately, it's the same in the real life...
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Two-Sided Political Ignorance
Ddey6515 October 1999
If I were to rate this film solely on the premise, I'd say it was a good idea, but I will do no such thing. While I understand the message behind it, all the right-wingers seemed like one-dimensional stereotypes...utter buffoons. I've got some serious objections to lumping anti-abortionists, and people who object to '60's-style environmentalism, with neo-Nazis, homophobes, and male chauvinists who dismiss women who cry rape, but then I should've expected this from the Hollywood left. And what's with killing a librarian, just because she didn't like "Catcher in the Rye?" God forbid if they had invited any road geeks over for dinner. Also, when was the last time that you saw a movie where an unapologetic American war veteran, who fought in any war after W.W. 2 wasn't written as a nutcase, or a fascist? That man deserved to die not because he fought against the illegal occupation of Kuwait by Iraqi troops, but because he was a fan of Hitler, a child molester, and because he tried to kill those five college kids. Yet after they killed him, they thought they could try to get away with it by using an INSANITY PLEA?! Anyone with a two-point I.Q., on either end of the political spectrum could see that this was an act of self-defense, except for them. I guess they WEREN'T as smart as they thought they were.

Still, thanks to a line by Ron Pearlman, it does get me to think about whether or not I would kill Hitler before he rose to power. Maybe not in 1908, but in 1928, ABSOLUTELY!
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