LAST SEEN ALIVE (NETFLIX) (2022)
SYNOPSIS: When Will’s (Gerard Butler) estranged wife Lisa (Jaimie Alexander) disappears during a stop at a gas station, Will must embark on a frantic undertaking to rescue her while eluding the police who suspect him of foul play.
The prologue of Last Seen Alive shows a cop angrily confronting a man who is likely involved in some kidnapping of sort. At the very least, we know the husband is not faking it or imagining the entire ordeal in his head.
Named Will Spann, the husband in question is played by Gerald Butler and the movie opens with his character in his car with his wife, Lisa (Jamie Alexander). The couple has been going through a rough patch since Lisa has an affair six months ago. And now, Will is driving Lisa to stay with her parents for two weeks.
With his fuel running out, Will has to stop at a nearby gas station while Lisa went for a quick toilet break. Unfortunately, Lisa is nowhere to be found after Will is done refuelling. A certain Detective Paterson (Russell Hornsby) answered Will’s call for assistance but his suspicions of Will frustrated the latter so much that he took matters into his own hands and move on to rural parts of the country to look for the suspect based on the surveillance footage he got from the gas station.
Butler has played all sorts of intense characters in all sorts of intense action thrillers that the character of Will Spann is simply a walk in the park for the Scottish actor. Last Seen Alive is a movie tailored for him and rest assured, Butler is no Bruce Willis, he appears as an unhinged husband desperately looking for his lost wife in nearly every minute of this 95 minutes flick.
Yet Butler’s intensity and enthusiasm is letdown by the frustratingly, generic plotting that contains so little suspense that it end up as a simplistic shoot-em up action thriller with very little regards to the subject matter. With the main suspect nicknamed Knuckles (Ethan Embry) being revealed in the beginning, there’s no real villains waiting to be uncovered except a meth lab in the middle of the forest. Even the actual motive and setup in the finale sounds half-baked. This is basically Taken set in rural America with Gerald Butler in the Liam Neeson’s role.
Don’t get us wrong though, Last Seen Alive is enjoyable if you love an adrenalin-filled action adventure. There’s enough silly violence and gunplay to keep the boys hooked. The best part however goes to the interrogative scene between Will and Detective Paterson which at least generates some sizzling acting and amusingly, Butler’s on-and-off Scottish accent.
Review by Linus Tee