Review: The Last Thing He Wanted

Anne Hathaway in The Last Thing He Wanted

The Last Thing He Wanted stars Anne Hathaway, Ben Affleck, Rosie Perez, Willem Dafoe, and Edi Gathegi. It was directed by Dee Rees, based on a novel by Joan Didion. Doesn’t that sound fabulous?

Well, The Last Thing He Wanted is far from fabulous. It’s an overlong, incomprehensible tale about a journalist who won’t let go of a story about the Sandanistas in Nicaragua in the 198os.

Rosie Perez in The Last Thing He Wanted

When the story begins Elena McMahon (Hathaway) and her photographer Alma (Perez) are in South America chasing down a connection between the arms used in the war there and the CIA.

Elena gets pulled from that story. She’s assigned to report on Reagan’s second run for President.

When her father (Dafoe) gets sick, Elena ends up taking a shipment of guns to Central America for him. Yes, her father is an arms dealer. An arms dealer who didn’t mind sending his daughter off on a deadly errand.

Somehow this arms deal put Elena back in the hunt for the CIA connection she was looking for earlier. Or maybe it just puts her in the sights of any number of characters’ guns. The connections between story elements were confusing.

Ben Affleck in The Last Thing He Wanted

Affeck plays Treat Morrison who’s an aide for Secretary George Schultz, has political ambitions, and shows up everywhere. Especially in jungles where nosy women reporters might learn something interesting.

The story didn’t hang together. Motivations were murky. The plot was muddy and unclear. I have no idea what the title means or why the theme song from the old Have Gun – Will Travel TV show was used, not once, but twice, in the movie. Is it the only song about guns?

Poster for The Last Thing He Wanted

Take a look at the trailer.

My advice is not to bother with this film. Watch it on Netflix if you must. If you did watch it already, what did you think of it?

6 thoughts on “Review: The Last Thing He Wanted”

  1. I wish I’d read your review first! The film is mixed up, it’s not at all clear what happened and why plus the main character does not appear remotely consistent. Well acted but terrible script and plot.

    1. The title refers to the last thing her father wanted, to finally make his big payday, and when he was too sick to follow through on the deal, he persuaded Elena to do the job for him. I don’t think that’s made clear in this horrible adaptation.

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