Review by: Katherine Kaminsky | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Theatrical trailer; Photo gallery; Other
THIS film is like a Scottish Twin Peaks, in that it looks like
director, David Mackenzie, has been given some money, gone into
the wilderness, pressed the record button and allowed the characters
to experiment and write the film themselves.
Charlie (Alastair Mackenzie) is driving to Skye to burn down
the house of the pop star who stole his wife.
At a petrol station he meets Vincente (Jonny Phillips), who is
running from some hitmen for sleeping with another man's wife.
The pair set off on their journey but break down and wind up
at an old remote Scottish Inn.
Here, they are introduced to the eccentric inhabitants who live
at the inn, each of whom has a story to tell of how and why they
Some of these experiences mirror each other and we discover that
the inn is more rehab than retreat.
Although always aware that Vincente is in a lot of trouble, we
are lulled into a false sense of security by the isolation of
However, Vincente keeps seeing the apparition of a beautiful
woman, signalling that perhaps all is not well, and although he
develops a calmness, as if resigned to his fate, nothing prepares
us for his demise.
The Last Great Wilderness starts as a road movie, with one man
avenging and the other being avenged, and although funny and quirky
gets progressively dark.
Vincentes death does not sit comfortably with the rest of the
film and not just because it is gruesome. When so much of the
film is understated, it comes as a jolt to be suddenly spoon-fed
violence, and the result looks like a scene from a completely
Even so, the performances are uniformly excellent and the movie
is beautifully cast.
Alastair Mackenzie (best known for the television series, Monarch
of the Glenn) is very watchable, and the superb Jonny Phillips
makes the dubious Vincente really likable.
On the whole, first-time director, Mackenzie has produced an enjoyable
and thought-provoking film, but I came away with the feeling that
the next film he makes will be the one not to be missed.