Last Will (2010) Movie Review
Director: Brent Huff
Writer: Irmgard Pagan (story) Alan Moskowitz (script)
Stars: Tatum O’Neal, Tom Berenger and Patrick Muldoon
Reviewed by Char Hardin
4 Out of 5
From Green Apple Entertainment, LAST WILL the made for television movie based on true story captured my attention from start until the credits rolled. I quite enjoyed this story of a woman who married for love and uncovered some truths her husband was unaware of by his younger brothers. The brothers preferred their meddlesome sister-in-law learn a deadly lesson of whose affairs of which need not be meddled.
An All-Star cast with Tatum O’Neal portraying Hayden Emery and Tom Berenger playing her husband Frank Emery. Joined with Patrick Muldoon and Jeffrey Dean (Joseph Emery & Virgil Emery brothers of Frank), Peter Coyote (Judge Garner) a crooked judge, Moon Unit Zappa (Emery brothers’ attorney) and James Brolin (Det. Sloan) a detective with a hatred of Joseph.
Hayden before she became an Emery, she worked as an accountant. She remarked once in regards to her job, “Numbers don’t lie”. It was shortly after her whirlwind honeymoon with Frank was visited by a priest who wanted to show and tell her about the state of housing project that Frank’s brothers managed. Hayden was shown the deplorable living conditions of people living in apartments that were set to be sold and rebuilt into luxury apartments. Hayden took photographs and showed them to her husband. She convinced Frank to renovate and put her in charge of the renovation. In doing so, he removed his brothers from the project. Later Hayden discovered further discrepancy in band statements and was further convinced her brother in-laws were indeed slumlords. What she didn’t count on how quickly her world would turn against her for meddling in their business affairs.
The brothers Joseph and Virgil are further agitated and aggravated when they learn that Frank has reworked his will and virtually cut them out of it. Frank had made Hayden executor and in doing so angered his brothers and painted a false picture of Hayden as a gold digger.
Last Will is chock-a-block full of twists and turns. One character told Hayden to “trust no one”. Something happens and Hayden’s made to look guilty and she and her brother and best friend work round the clock to prove Hayden’s innocence, but is it enough to clear her.
Based on a true horror story. I enjoy a good mystery and this one was good. Patrick Muldoon put in chilling performance. A favorite actor of mine since I first discovered him on the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives, I have followed him to the big screen and back to television. He has an undeniable charm of appearing sweet and innocent and then turning on the evil personality that flips like a switch. In the beginning at Hayden and Frank’s wedding he was so nice to Hayden and gave a big speech welcoming her to the family, only to change his tune when she began snooping into his business.
Surprise actress was Moon Unit Zappa! I haven’t seen her since the 1980’s. She played Joseph and Virgil’s attorney Belinda DeNovi. She was hired to prove Hayden was a gold digger ,when the brothers take her court to contest the will. Belinda learns of some underhanded measures taken by the brothers and wanted to withdraw as their lawyer…something proved not an easy feat.
Tatum O’Neal’s return to the film was refreshing. I have grown up watching this actress charming her way through one film after the other. From a endearing little girl opposite her father Ryan O’Neal in ‘Paper Moon’, through her teen years in ‘Little Darlings’ with Kristy McNichol…I have loved seeing this actress grow up on camera. As Hayden Emery she was exceptional, and her chemistry with veteran actor Tom Berenger was romantic and believable. When her marriage took a turn for the worse…I cried.
If you are looking for a twisted thriller with some top-notch actors, do yourself a favor and look for ‘Last Will’. The ending twist was good and maybe if you pay close attention, it won’t sneak up on you. Although what happened after the big reveal…I bet you don’t see it coming! 4 Out of 5! Betrayal, Manipulations, Corruption and at the heart of the story love.
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