There is a Singapore connection to The Last Days of American Crime, one of the critically reviled movies of the year so far.
The Netflix movie, which debuted on the streaming service on June 5, has the dubious distinction of scoring 0 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. At time of writing, 33 critics have reviewed the dystopian crime thriller and they all hated, hated, hated it. (It fared slightly better, but just as abysmal, on rival review aggregator Metacritic with a 15 per cent approval rate.)
Other misfires that have been the object of such epic scorn include Gotti, Highlander II: The Quickening, Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever, The Ridiculous Six, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol, and London Fields. Seriously, how bad is The Last Days of American Crime? Let's just say that it’s so awful it’s criminal.
Adapted from Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini’s graphic novel, this actioner by Luc Besson protégé Oliver Megaton (Colombiana) is as confusing and chaotic as the movie’s police-state-ruled USA setting. Edgar Ramirez (can’t tell if he’s bored or moody) stars as a career criminal planning the mother of all heists before the authorities activate a brain-frying V-chip-type signal that stops people from law-breaking (no more jaywalking?).
It’s pretty straightforward but for some reason Megaton decided to upsize what could’ve been a lean 90-minute narrative into a laborious two-and-and-a-half hour dreck (did the editor fall asleep on the job or did Netflix mistakenly show the rough cut?), by throwing in subplots involving an accomplice’s daddy issues, a love triangle and Sharlto Copley as a patrolman on their tail. Or something like that.
By the time the movie gets to the business at hand, it's already running on fumes. Or is that the smell of Netflix burning money?
So what role did Singapore play in this potential Razzie contender? Of the 13 producers listed in the end credits, one name sticks out: executive producer Matlock Stone. Turns out he isn't a person, but a company.
As per its website, Matlock Stone is part of Potato Productions, “a Singapore-based, Asia-focused, and internationally-active group of enterprises that are collectively dedicated to technological innovation, dynamic creativity, and the effecting of real and positive change”.
Matlock Stone was also an executive producer on the 2010 found-footage horror Haunted Changi and the 2014 hostage drama Unlucky Plaza starring Adrian Pang. He, sorry, it was also behind the marketing campaign of Anthony Chen’s award-winning debut feature Ilo Ilo.
What was the nature and extent of Matlock Stone’s involvement with The Last Days of American Crime? Inquiring minds want to know. 8days.sg has reached out to Matlock Stone for comment.
Despite the critical maiming, The Last Days of American Crime is popular with Singapore viewers; it ranked No. 4 and No. 9 on the top 10 list of movies this past weekend (June 13 & 14). But beware: Netflix has an unusual way of measuring viewership, which they break it down into three categories: “starters”, “watchers,” and “completers”.
“Starters” are determined by the “households that watch two minutes of a film/one episode in a series”; “completers” refer to “households that watch 90 per cent of a film or season of a series”; and “watchers” are the ‘households that watch 70 per cent of a movie/one episode in a series”. Baffling, right?
So if you’ve ‘seen’ The Last Days of American Crime, which group do you belong to?