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Last Lives

Last Lives (1997) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  92m  •    •  Directed by: Worth Keeter.  •  Starring: C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Rubin, Billy Wirth, Judge Reinhold, Robert Pentz, David Lenthall, J.C. Quinn, Richard Fullerton, Rick Wagner, Talmadge Ragan, Michael Monks, John Bennes, Ray Bouchard.  •  Music by: Greg Edmonson.
        In a dimension parallel to ours, the convicted terrorist Malakai is being used as a guinea pig in a temporal experiment designed to send people across parallel worlds. Convinced that his dead wife exists in our world, he hijacks the experiment, sending himself & two cohorts over to our world. The scientist who created the experiment also crosses over, armed with a number of bracelets that can revive the wearer in the event of death. He uses one of these 'lifebands' to resurrect Aaron, the fiancé of the woman Malakai abducted, having being shot by him as he tried to save her.

Trailers:

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Review:

Image from: Last Lives (1997)
Image from: Last Lives (1997)
Image from: Last Lives (1997)
Image from: Last Lives (1997)
Image from: Last Lives (1997)
Story Synopsis: In a dimension parallel to ours, the convicted terrorist Malakai is being used as a guinea pig in a temporal experiment designed to send people across parallel worlds. Convinced that his dead wife exists in our world, he hijacks the experiment, sending himself & two cohorts over to our world. The scientist who created the experiment also crosses over, armed with a number of bracelets that can revive the wearer in the event of death. He uses one of these 'lifebands' to resurrect Aaron, the fiancé of the woman Malakai abducted, having being shot by him as he tried to save her. The pair then gives chase but the scientist is killed in the process. Before he dies, he passes the 'lifebands' to Aaron, who then uses them to attempt a highly risky & dangerous rescue of his love.

Film Analysis: Last Lives is a low-budget knockoff of the Terry Gilliam time travel flick 12 MONKEYS (itself a knockoff of a French new wave film known as La Jetee). Both films cover the same story - a criminal is used as a subject in a temporal experiment due to his obsession of a woman from another world or time, the experiment going awry because of this. The only difference is that while 12 Monkeys is an intelligent & darkly humorous time travel flick, Last Lives is a film with a severely limited scope.

As an action film, Last Lives is competent enough, with some decent car chases, shootouts & explosions. But it fares less well as a sci-fi film - namely due to the rather stupid gimmick of having the hero armed with special armbands that can help him cheat death. Sure, the gimmick is interesting but the way it is used here is quite silly - as the hero, Thomas C. Howell is killed so many times that it is not even funny. Okay, I take that back - the various ways that Howell kicks the proverbial bucket are so contrived that you will be laughing out loud over it. Case in point being the shack explosion, with Howell's scattered body parts reforming despite the explosion's effects (surely it would've affected the armbands as well?). The temporal experiment is just a MacGuffin used to launch the story, promptly being written out by the end of the first act.

The acting is a bit of a mixed bag. Howell is pretty good despite having some sort of Southern accent that affects his performance slightly. Judge Reinhold looks like he is embarrassed to be there while Jennifer Rubin seems to be under the influence of some serious sedatives. As the villain, Billy Wirth (who has proved himself to be a capable actor in the past) is given little to do, making the most of his role as a telepathic terrorist with a pair of silent henchmen & painful telepathy as his only weapon.


Review by DigitalRevenantX7 from the Internet Movie Database.