REVIEWS: Docs / Other films — September 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm

REVIEW: The Last Harbor (2010)

Ian Martin (Wade Williams) has been a homicide detective in a big city for some 10 years. And recently he’s (again) been having some trouble with alcohol, even during the job.

The worst occurs when Martin loses it, and assaults a cuffed suspect in a police station, while the security camera records everything.

Now, Martin’s chief offers him a deal – either stay on the job, but lose the rank and move to another department, or take some time off and go to Salem Harbor (a harbor in northeastern Massachusetts spanning an area north and south of Salem), to replace a local sheriff at his post, who is moving up elsewhere.

Martin, reluctantly, agrees to take the small-town sheriff job at the Harbor, and packs his things. The problems promise to become bigger, as Martin’s grown up daughter lives in Salem Harbor, and she still haven’t forgotten and haven’t forgiven her father for being abusive and drunk all the time, when the family lived together.

Upon arrival, Martin defiantly empties all his bottles of whiskey in front of his daughter – to show her that he’s been over it, and now will try to stay sober, and be a good example.

However, soon enough, the old habit of drinking hits Martin again, and he now has to fight not only his inner demons but also for keeping his daughter close, and also solving a mysterious murder of a local girl.

The director of “The Last Harbor” (2010), Paul Epstein, has mostly been working as an assistant director in the film industry, and this thriller is, up to this day, his first directorial debut.

Considering film’s slow pace, Epstein sometimes abuses the use of hand camera, during the dragging dialogue scenes, however aside from that, there’s no distraction from the film itself.

Speaking of the story, which Epstein wrote himself, it is not as unique as it could have been, despite Epstein’s efforts to add a few twists here and there, for more colors.

Like already mentioned before, the film’s pace is slow, and in some parts it really drags a lot, while there isn’t much going on. While IMDb states the $8 million budget for “The Last Harbor”, it puzzles, why such film turned out to cost that much.

Wade Williams, who plays the lead character of Ian Martin, has been around for quite some time, and he does a good job here, portraying a washed up, rarely sober cop. Throughout the whole film, you get the opinion that his character is always drunk, and it makes you wonder how such undisciplined cop even made detective.

Williams’ performance in the film is far from his jaw-dropping role in “Ken Park”, yet here he gets a lot more screen time, and it is safe to say that the movie is mostly about his character.

Overall, the casting is very good, lots of pretty faces, who can actually act. Especially, Austin Highsmith (plays Martin’s daughter) should be mentioned – very solid acting on her part, aside from being extremely beautiful.

As for the film itself, it is a very slow-paced drama, with a somewhat bleak ending.

“The Last Harbor” has those moments, where you feel some spark should have been inserted, yet it never happens, and the film continues at the same pace. Nothing really memorable here, but might be a good time-passer for some people.



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