Review: 'The Last Witness' Starring Alex Pettyfer And Talulah Riley

The Last Witness is one of those movies where if you're not incredibly interested in the source material, then there's a high chance that this may not be the movie for you. The movie is set in late 1940's England as a young journalist named Stephen Underwood, played by Alex Pettyfer, strives to uncover the slaughter of 20,000+ Polish officers during WWII after the Soviets invaded Poland in 1939. It's directed by Piotr Szkopiak and also stars Talulah Riley, Robert Wieckiewicz, and Michael Gambon

Now, this isn't to say that movies revolving around world war happenings can't be interesting or told in a captivating way because we all know that that's simply not true. However, the way in which they go about presenting the story, which is based on true events, is not done in an interesting or captivating way.

The events in this story are I'm sure events that the average person does not have a ton of knowledge on. When people think World War II, they more than likely think Nazis, Germany, Holocaust, Pearl Harbor - not necessarily the time when the Soviet Union invaded Poland and killed a bunch of their officers, and I feel like the filmmakers were definitely aware this.

The movie knows that because this isn't the most talked about WWII event that they have the duty of presenting a ton of information to the viewer who like I said more than likely has very little knowledge on it. Where the problem arises is in the way in which the filmmakers went about providing that information throughout the movie - it all just feels like some boring, bulleted, history lesson lecture from a professor that doesn't really know how to engage their students and get them interested in the material at hand, but once you actually go back over the material you realize that it is pretty interesting and that maybe had you had a different professor your investment in the material may have been a lot greater.

And I don't mean this as a huge diss to the filmmakers, but this movie was a tough watch; it was just incredibly boring. If the whole purpose of the movie was so that it could be used during some history lesson where students are meant to follow along and answer questions as they watch, then I think that it could've fulfilled its purpose. However, as a movie that's meant to pull you in and have you actually care about the story and its characters? It definitely drops the ball.

Even though it's a fictional re-telling of true events, the filmmakers seemed to be more focused on making sure that the events and material were accurate rather than giving more focus to making something that people would actually want to see. There was entirely too much dialogue. The narration and other ways in which they give you details of the story was done lazily; there's a lot of telling and not showing. So, if you happen to not be paying attention during any one time, then you'll probably end up in some state of confusion.

The film is also described as being a thriller which was surprising and also a bit ironic to me because there was no real thrill that was a part of this movie, so that led me to believe that the choice to make it a "thriller" wasn't an idea that they had from the start. The filmmakers probably realized that what they had crafted up until a certain point wasn't the most captivating thing, so they added in the "thriller" element to help with that problem, but when it came to the finished product, it did anything but.

I don't want to say that the movie was set up from failure from the beginning because I've already said that these kinds of stories can be interesting, but this particular story isn't the most entertaining and known thing, and when you have something working against the movie in that way it does put more pressure on the filmmakers to present it in a more appealing way; unfortunately, with this movie the filmmakers crumbled under the pressure.

The Last Witness hits VOD and Digital HD May 29th

Rating: 1 out of 5