Last Orders (2001) starring Michael Caine, Tom Courtenay, David Hemmings, Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Ray Winstone directed by Fred Schepisi Movie Review

Last Orders (2001)   3/53/53/53/53/5

David Hemmings, Bob Hoskins, Michael Caine and Tom Courtenay in Last Orders (2001)

Memories & Margate

Just a few weeks earlier local butcher Jack Dodds (Michael Caine) was sitting in the pub with his life long friends; funeral director Vic Tucker (Tom Courtenay), gambler Ray Johnson (Bob Hoskins) and former boxer Lenny (David Hemmings). But now Vic, Ray and Lenny along with Jack's son Vince (Ray Winstone) are driving to Margate to spread Jack's ashes in to the sea as he wished for just before he died. As these friends drive along they reminisce about their lives together, how they met, the nights in the boozer and so on. Meanwhile Jack's widow Amy (Helen Mirren) has gone to see their daughter who was put in a home for the handicapped many years earlier.

Recently I have been looking though old photos of my family, those who died before I was born whilst also looking at photos of the town I live in from before they demolished so much of it in the 60s to build newer and frankly uglier buildings. Watching "Last Orders" is exactly like what I have been doing as this is a movie about nostalgia, about a group of friends reminiscing about their pasts, how they have been there for each other over many years.

Helen Mirren in Last Orders (2001)

The thing is that is all there is to "Last orders" a lot of reminiscing and if that isn't your sort of thing it will be a slow movie with little to offer. Having said that it does feature a fantastic cast with Michael Caine, Tom Courtenay, David Hemmings, Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren and Ray Winstone perfectly cast with the older actors convincing as a group of friends who have been around the block together whilst Winstone is believable as Caine's wheeler dealing son. Plus the younger cast who appear in the flashbacks of the character's lives also bring a certain amount of charm and humour to things with JJ Feild impressing as the young Jack.

Now in fairness there is more to "Last Orders" than just reminiscing as there are secrets to be revealed and upsets to deal with but the general tone of the movie is nostalgia and that sense of reliving the past and what life was like.

What this all boils down to is that "Last Orders" is charming but it is one of those movies which I would say appeals to those who like reminiscing and the nostalgia of the past. But even if the nostalgic aspect of the movie doesn't appeal the calibre of the cast and their chemistry will and that is a big part of the movie's attraction.