In a fairly fixed pattern, user reviews that complement THE LAST BOY gets a high "helpful" score and every critical review gets a very low score. Oh, well. Apparently THE LAST BOY has an established following of pudding-brained New Age fan-folk. Low "helpful" score here I come.
Most of the basic elements of THE LAST BOY are either good or at least adequate to purpose. The actors fit their roles, the acting was adequate given the fact that there weren't many beats that required advanced acting chops, the music was pretty good with occasional echoes of Bernard Herrmann.
The plot of THE LAST BOY is mostly the same as A QUIET PLACE and BIRD BOX and others of a similar ilk; something disastrous has "happened" in the world and whatever it was has left "monsters" hanging about and picking off the remaining human survivors. This is not original by any means, of course, but I don't have a problem with that. When was the last time you saw a truly original story? As long as it's a WELL DONE disaster-with-left-over-monster-residue-sauce movie I'm happy with it.
Unfortunately, it's the story that makes, or breaks, a movie in my opinion. Something that actually qualifies as a story is definitely NOT a "s happened in my head and I puked it up on the script" sort of affair. A good story needs to have cohesion, coherency and, at a minimum, make at least a little sense. Random twaddle scribbled on a page does not a story make.
MOST of the story line of THE LAST BOY hangs together fairly well. Young boy in a world filled with monsters sets out on a quest given to him by his recently deceased mother. With his trusty magic sword (or, in this case, a mysterious electronic doodad that fills the function of a weapon against the monsters) at his side, off he goes on his adventure. The quest does seem a little odd even from the get-go: to make it to the place where "wishes are granted". I just put that little anomaly down as something a dying mother tells her preteen boy to motivate him to get where he needs to go; I'm guessing some sort of actual sanctuary. How wrong I was.
Along the way to his great objective, our hero boy meets noble and nefarious people alike, and even picks up a few hangers on to accompany him on his journey.
But as the story rolls along it starts exhibiting what can only be called storytelling "sins", signs of inept storytelling. These are tells for nonexistent storytelling skills. Classic examples would be engaging in "it was all a dream" or the infamous Deus ex Machina (ESPECIALLY at the END of a story).
SOME storytelling laziness can be forgiven, such as a complete lack of any legitimate explanation for ANYTHING upon which the story is based. In THE LAST BOY we never really find out what the disaster was or where these monsters came from or what the monsters actually are. The most we get is a vague allusion to some science event (whatever that is) and no explanation at all about the monsters. Certainly A QUIET PLACE and BIRD BOX and other similar movies did the same thing; sort of a "here's your monsters - off you go" approach. But if you're going to do this sort of thing, you can't then have plot points that suggest that the origin and character of the monsters are very well understood.
Very incongruously, our hero is equipped with a military grade, advanced electronic device that's capable of effortlessly warding off the monsters and is obviously purpose-made for the task. We are told that whatever happened that caused the original disaster and produce the monsters, happened fast and wiped out lots of people nearly immediately. Yet SOMEBODY had the time to gather enough information, and had the months it would take, to be able to build these electronic anti-monster talismans. Our hero's mother mysteriously worked for the government in some capacity, had access to these anti-monster devices, and somehow knew of a place that one could go to get "wishes granted". Where did all this information come from, not to mention all the time and infrastructure?
And the ending was certainly a deus ex machina variation if I ever saw one and which has no place in a movie that supposed to be something having to do with science fiction. At the end of the movie, literal dead people show up reincarnated in people-sized bubbles standing in the middle of a nonstop wave of wind-monsters, the same wind-monsters that have been killing people all throughout the picture. Where did they come from and how did they get reincarnated? How did they get here? What are the wind-monsters doing and why have they suddenly stop attacking? What are those bubbles the supposedly-already-dead-people are standing in? Why do the bubble people just stand there way out in the middle of the storm of wind-monsters instead of walking towards their loved ones (because if their loved ones move toward them its instant death for them from the wind-monsters)?
One of the already-dead people, the wife of one of the members of our hero's crew, witnesses her loved one getting killed and turned to dust by the wind-monsters when he attempts to walk out to her and, in her grief, apparently is herself KILLED AGAIN and TURNED TO DUST AGAIN. What the hell is going on there?
Is this open field at the end of the movie that is covered in a nonstop wave of wind-monsters the make-a-wish place? How did the hero's mother know about it at the beginning of the picture when she was dying in a camper so far away?
TWO people show up for our hero in bubbles and standing out there in the deathly wind: his erstwhile dead mother and a sweet little girl who got killed along the way during the quest, both coaxing the hero to themselves with outstretched arms. When our hero fords his way out to them through the death wind, he's told he has to choose one of them. Why is that? What happens to the one he chooses and what happens to the one he DOESN'T choose? Who made up these rules? What do these rules MEAN?
Basically, the ending makes no sense at all. It isn't that it's subtle or thought-provoking or "deep". It's just made up, stream-of-consciousness BS because the storyteller couldn't think of a decent ending after having written himself into a corner. Making such a story end "mysteriously" with "thought-provoking ambiguity" is just how a bad writer tries to conceal the fact that he doesn't have any skill at telling a story and couldn't think of an end for this one.
This is apparently playing well with the hippie-dippy New Age crowd around here. Which, sadly, will only encourage Perry Bhandal to write more of this brand of hogwash.
Review by S_Soma from the Internet Movie Database.