Well, how is this for a coincidence? Over the last few weeks, I’ve been on a Rick Remender reading binge, going through a stack of the acclaimed comic book writer’s works. One such title was Low, a sci-fi opus about humanity being forced to live underwater due to the expansion of the sun, that Remender had created with artist Gregg Tocchini. In the foreword of the first volume though, Remender mentioned that he and Tocchini first collaborated on The Last Days of American Crime, a critically acclaimed comic book series that I had never read but which I knew had been optioned for a feature film adaptation by Netflix back in 2018.
The miniseries’ story sounded perfect for a screen adaptation: In the near future, in a bid to stop rampant crime, the US government first gets rid of all physical cash in favour of “charge cards”. Their next step though is the most extreme as they plan to secretly broadcast a countrywide signal that shuts down certain brain patterns preventing anybody from knowingly committing a crime. Enter Graham Bricke, a career criminal, who hatches a brilliant plan to steal one of the devices used to charge these cards so that he can gain access to unlimited funds for the rest of his life. But when word of the signal leaks out to the public and the government radically shifts up their plans of rolling it out, it leaves Bricke with just three days to pull off the crime of his life before he’s physically incapable of doing so.
How cool is that pitch, right? That has blockbuster written all over it. So over the weekend past, I hopped onto Comixology and grabbed the three-issue miniseries to read sometime later this week in anticipation of whenever that movie finally gets made sometime in the future.
Well, it got made. What’s more, it’s out next month and Netflix dropped the first trailer for it last night!
As a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts. Graham Bricke (Édgar Ramírez), a career criminal who was never able to hit the big score, teams up with famous gangster progeny Kevin Cash (Michael Pitt), and black market hacker Shelby Dupree (Anna Brewster), to commit the heist of the century and the last crime in American history before the signal goes off.
So straight off the bat, we can see that the script from screenwriter Karl Gajdusek has made some changes. The crime-killing signal is still in play, but gone are the charge cards and it’s just a straight money grab. Bricke – played by Edgar Ramirez – is also not the one to come up with the scheme. That falls to Kevin Cash, a skeevy looking crook played by Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Pitt. Oh and there’s also an attractive lady hacker played by British actress Anna Brewster caught between the two men. And to complicate matters even further, Bricke is now out to take revenge on the government killing his brother during a bank heist.
Are these changes good or bad? Well, it’s too early to tell. At least it appears that director Olivier Megaton has reined in some of the more ridiculous over-editing tendencies he’s shown in the past on films like Taken 2 and 3, Transporter 3, and Colombiana. He’s the very opposite of a subtle filmmaker though so I’m just expecting some skop, skiet en donner here, but I’m hoping that Gajdusek – who was the showrunner on the first season of Stranger Things and co-created the criminally underwatched military drama The Last Resort – hasn’t tossed out all of Remender’s ballsy charm.
The Last Days of American Crime also stars Sharlto Copley (who is in only one shot in the trailer) and another South African expat in Sean Cameron Michael. It is scheduled to debut on Netflix in just a few weeks time on 5 June.
Last Updated: May 20, 2020