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Movie review: 'Last Ounce' a laughably awful right-wing melodrama

Published September 14, 2012 2:31 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If you like Bill O'Reilly's annual Fox News rants about the phony "War on Christmas," get set for the movie version.

This right-wing twaddle centers on small-town mayor Bob Revere (Marshall Teague), a Harley-riding war hero mourning the combat death of his son Thomas.

Fourteen years later, Thomas' wife, Kari (Nikki Novak), and teen son, Christian (Hunter Gomez), return to town. Christian challenges Bob to stand up for what he believes in — namely, bringing back the town's Christmas decorations, mothballed because city leaders feared lawsuits over church/state separation.

The script, by Darrel Campbell (who co-directed with producer Kevin McAfee), may be the first screenplay transcribed directly from the bumper stickers on your conservative uncle's pickup truck. Campbell writes bombastic speeches for Bob to deliver against straw-man targets: "weak-kneed" school officials, a bullying civil-liberties lawyer (Fred Williamson) and a stereotypical flaming drama teacher (played by Campbell) directing a secularized Nativity play.

Politics aside, the hamfisted melodrama, amateurish acting, a tasteless finale (a flag-waving Christmas celebration that includes video of Thomas' death) and a cameo by either God or a ZZ Top cover-band refugee make "Last Ounce of Courage" laughably awful.

movies@sltrib.com; nowsaltlake.com/movies —

zero stars

'Last Ounce of Courage'

Opens Friday, Sept. 14, at area theaters; rated PG for thematic elements, some war images and brief smoking; 101 minutes. For more movie reviews, visit nowsaltlake.com/movies.