Last Sentinel (2023)

Rating ⭐️ 5.8/10
Genre Drama . Sci-Fi . Thriller
Runtime 1h 57m
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Last Sentinel (2023) – Set in the future on a war-ravaged Earth, four weary soldiers stand guard at a remote military outpost in the vast ocean that separates two vertically aligned continents. While their mission’s deadline passed a league of moons ago, the relief crew is yet to arrive. As empty weeks turn into months, paranoia descends, testing relationships to their breaking point.

Last Sentinel, directed by Tanel Toom (Truth and Justice, The Confession), written by Malachi Smyth (The Score, Ghost Machine), stars Kate Bosworth (The Enforcer, The Immaculate Room), Thomas Kretschmann (Stalingrad, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels), Lucien Laviscount (Love Beats Rhymes, Scream Queens), and Martin McCann (Wildfire, Wolf). It revolves around a skeletal military crew stationed at a sea-bound military base, waiting for anyone who might find them first, be it ally or foe.

The world of science fiction offers a novel way to explore historical and contemporary plots, as envisioned in Smyth’s script. Despite a healthy level of world-building, there’s little new and substantial in the world of Buri in 2063, which now accommodates only two small continents after the rising seas swallowed the rest, leading to endless warfare between them.

Watchtowers have been erected by both sides, armed to the teeth, in case another assault commences. The chosen characters of Last Sentinel, Cassidy (Bosworth), Sullivan (Laviscount), and Baines (McCann) under the command of Hendrichs (Kretschmann), are here, waiting for whatever may come. It’s a scenario where a film should have a lot to do in a short time, as the imminent arrival that would disrupt the status quo is a major event here, finding a fresh story thread quickly drying up.

Help was supposed to arrive three months ago but hasn’t. With an empty vessel named Aurora becoming increasingly visible, the film stakes its claim. The anticipated knock soon follows, with the commander wanting to use Aurora’s supplies to continue the waiting game while others want to fix it and sail home. It’s a largely empty affair where secrets aren’t kept.

Toom comes closest to additional narrative with Sullivan’s distress signal mirrored, but this too ends before something substantial comes of it. The foundation is solid here, but Last Sentinel offers too little in the plot department when the film’s world presents numerous possibilities.