In Great Escape fashion, The Chain Breakers start planning their last mission and enlists the help of a young teen, Elliot (Zachary Wan), whose mother, Lin (Renee Lim), runs the home.
Never Too Late is not your typical senior citizen break-out film, where the patients are angels, and the hospital staff are sadistic prison guards. The film attempts to find its conflict with the issues surrounding an elder’s freedom against providing a safe environment to live out their twilight years. Just the nature of these conflicting goals provides enough conflict to tell a compelling story.
“…Cromwell… brings a high degree of gravitas to the film. He’s…the Danny Ocean…”
Halfway through, I began to wonder, “do we as a society even know what to do with our seniors in need of long-term care?” Bronson, for example, has his freedom taken away without due process or trial, and the punishment for his crimes is being strapped into his bed and heavily sedated. Equally tragic, Angus was in for a routine check-up ready to travel, and when his condition was discovered, Angus was never allowed to leave the home. In the end, each fights to live the rest of their lives on their own terms and not ones imposed by the government.
Overall, the tone of Never Too Late is one of a light drama, leaning toward comedy. The soundtrack has an Ocean’s Eleven vibe to it. Though there are comedic bits, the entire cast thankfully plays their roles straight. I’m not familiar with the Australian actors, so I come to find that Roy Billing is the Tom Hanks of New Zealand, and Jack Thompson is a national treasure. I do know James Cromwell, and he brings a high degree of gravitas to the film. He’s the straight-man…the Danny Ocean…of the crew. Without Cromwell, this story becomes an unfunny comedy.
Never Too Late is a feel-good message movie featuring four men and a woman all needing to resolve something meaningful in their lives. It does get a little sappy without a hint of darkness at all. By the end, every plotline is wrapped up nicely with a pretty bow. As you dig deeper into the film’s bigger picture, you’ll also feel frustrated at how our seniors, particularly veterans, are treated and discarded into homes hidden out of sight. There has to be a better way.
"…a secret as to why he needs to be with his old team."