The Last Deal Image

The Last Deal

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | March 23, 2023

Salemi has delivered a slick black Cadillac of a crime picture. As a director, he goes straight to the Scorsese toolbox to build The Last Deal, which was an excellent choice. Molinari’s narration and the rapid-fire editing by Ryan Liebert that sets up the beginning are just like Goodfellas, except on weed! There are also signature tracking shots and lighting hot spots used judiciously throughout. A fantastic Tangerine Dream-like synthesizer score by Tony Fiala puts blood in the veins of the imagery. Salemi’s script manages to streamline the convoluted regulatory system to fit the narrative’s logic. As funny as the notion might be that a doper gangster movie may be educational, that is exactly what is looking you in the eye here.

I know this is based on true events, but the presentation makes it feel very real, even if it is just a movie. That may be why this has a little more dimension than most crime pictures, as we, the audience, are on the inside. Also, just like Molinari doesn’t smoke weed himself, you don’t need to be a stoner to enjoy the film. Just like you didn’t need to be a heroin addict to enjoy The French Connection. It all comes down to dirty, dirty money; it doesn’t matter what it is from. This thriller totally delivers that wind-like rush of witnessing underworld activity from the safety of a screen.

“…a slick black Cadillac of a crime picture.”

The actors make up a very impressive rogues gallery here. Molinari is a great choice to lead a picture. I would ride along with him in any movie; he rubs me the right way. If his back-East accent is a put-on, then I am doubly amazed. He is the great American anti-hero, a straight-up guy up to his neck in greasy business. Baker manages to out-heavy all the other heavies. He is a black sun of evil that all villainy orbits around. Lauren handles the dramatic angle with flair. She is a very agreeable actress that comes off as genuine. Fitzgerald takes a key role and gives us a very nuanced criminal. I could totally see this guy not answering my calls once s**t goes down. Salemi adds some good dramatic work for everyone without stepping on the thrill quotient.

However slim the budget was, the movie’s look is way phat with lots of production value. You would be surprised just how dark the underbelly is of the weed world since, in most of the U.S., it is sold like six packs of beer. I am constantly surprised by how high a cheap thrill can get me. The Last Deal is a big deal and definitely one you want to be in on.

The Last Deal (2023)

Directed and Written: Jonathan Salemi

Starring: Anthony Molinari, Jeffri Lauren, Mister Fitzgerald, Sala Baker, Orion McCabe, Kenny Johnston, Clark Moore, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

The Last Deal Image

"…just like Goodfellas, except on weed!"

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