The Last Man on Planet Earth (1999) Julie Bowen, Paul Francis, Tamlyn Tomita, L. Scott Caldwell, Elizabeth Dennehy Movie Review

The Last Man on Planet Earth (1999)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Julie Bowen in The Last Man on Planet Earth (1999)

Bowen's Hope for a Man

When during the war a revolutionary new weapon called the "Y-bomb" is used it leads to 97% of the world's men dying. With sudden dominance the women in power decide to outlaw Men forcing those few who survived to go in to hiding. 20 years later Hope Chase (Julie Bowen), a scientist, decides to create a new man in her laboratory resulting in Adam (Paul Francis). But when the quickly matured Adam sneaks out from where Hope has him hidden his presence in a city of women soon causes panic and alerts the authority forcing him to go on the run from the FBI and seek out the help of those men who have been living in hiding.

I wonder what it must be like to be a screen writer and know that the story you wrote had some entertaining ideas but in transition to the screen those ideas fail to be explored to their full potential. I know as a movie fan how frustrating it is when a movie which has an entertaining idea ends up weak due to probably a lack of time and money preventing it from being fully explored. And that is how I feel about "The Last Man on Planet Earth" as I like the idea that after the men of the planet are all but killed off the women in power decide to outlaw men, that basic idea has plenty of comic potential.

Paul Francis in The Last Man on Planet Earth (1999)

The trouble is that whilst "The Last Man on Planet Earth" has this storyline which sees a man created in the laboratory on the run and getting some help from some surprising resources the whole thing ends up weak. The whole movie cries out for the over the top comedy of say "Starship Troopers" with the tongue deeply imbedded in the cheek but here it never quite reaches the heights of being over the top and in your face. It's not that the storyline doesn't contain the ideas, the opening which sees a politician's election campaign video is amusing but it screams out to be more.

Most of the issues with "The Last Man on Planet Earth" for me arise out of budget and time constraints and the knock on of those restraints is the acting. Now some of the acting is not too bad with Julie Bowen and L. Scott Caldwell working well together in a non cheesy manner. But else where some of the actors suffer from constantly coming across like they only learned their lines just prior to shooting the scene and didn't even take in to consideration their actual characters.

What this all boils down to is that "The Last Man on Planet Earth" as a movie has its issues, most of which I expect to have come from lack of budget. But it is a movie full of entertaining ideas, it's just a shame they end up under explored.