The Last Supper Movie Review

Movie Review by Anthony Leong © Copyright 1997

I think it's time for dessert...

Finally, a movie starring a Saturday Night Live alumnus that is actually good! "The Last Supper" is available on video now. It begins as a twenty-something black comedy and ends as a chilling thesis on the dangers of extremism, whether it be ultra-left wing or ultra-right wing. It begins innocently enough as a Sunday dinner among friends, all graduate students, who reject right wing values, but are merely content to talk about rather than act on it.

Enter the unexpected dinner guest, a racist truck-driving neo-nazi, who begins to spout his rhetoric at the dinner table. The dinner party quickly degenerates into a hostage-taking and the racist soon lies dead on the floor, stabbed in the back. After the initial shock subsides, the five friends decide to bury the dead man in the backyard.

Like the juicy red tomatoes that they plant over the man's grave, the boldness of their actions and left-wing extremism grow as the five protagonists decide to do the world a service by inviting the Hitlers of the world to their house for Sunday dinner. If their guest fails to recant their right-wing ways, they are poisoned with wine in a blue bottle and buried in the backyard alongside the other victims, to provide more nourishment for their tomato crop. And so a progression of guests come and go... a homophobic priest, a pro-life activist, an anti-environmentalist (hey, it's Jason Alexander!), a high school student against birth control, a book-banning librarian...

In their drive to rid the world of right wing extremists, they themselves succumb to the very same extremism, only at the other end of the political spectrum. It is a dialogue-driven story, with insightful nuggets on the perils of ideological fanaticism and the need for tolerance of all views in society, and some cute scenes where the characters are driven to distraction by their conversations. In terms of film-making techniques, there is a recurring contrast found in the use of colours to represent the opposing political forces. This culminates in a final scene where the five friends meet who they believe to be the embodiment of all that is evil in the right-wing world, a Rush Limbaugh-ish caricature: as they eat dinner and views are exchanged on politics, the scenery outside the windows alternates between red and blue with each lightning flash-- symbolizing the battle being fought in the world outside and at the dinner table.

So check it out... enjoy the conversation and the soundtrack... but just don't drink the wine.

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