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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

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The Last Shift (2020) on IMDb

Plot Overview

integrated poolAlbion—the word's an old name for England—in Michigan is as well integrated as the next town. Oscar's Chicken and Fish has as night manager old white guy Stanley (Richard Jenkins) who's about to retire. He gets along well with his colored boss, manageress Shazz (Da'Vine Joy Randolph.) He is tasked with training his replacement before he leaves.

A buck Negro Jevon Williams (Shane Paul McGhie) having been busted for mischief in White Bread, USA is allowed out on probation so long as he has a job. He gets one as night cook at Oscar's to be trained by Stanley. He has a white probation officer Evelyn Keller (Allison Tolman) who means him well but must abide by the rules.

private readingThe principals at least are all portrayed as good guys who make a sincere effort at “the good Lord's work.” Due to the invisible influence of historical forces, though, the last scene is of Jevon reading a child's book to his (illegitimate) black son in the back of the bus while Stanley has boarded the front of the bus from his new all-white job. They are not on speaking terms having made the historic civil rights gains in the courts a pyrrhic victory.


Stanley having been blissfully unaware of his “white privilege” until Jevon educates him decides to try it out at the end. This after a routine run to the corner market that would have been incon­sequential in a white neighbor­hood of yore evokes criminal activity from its black patrons. Their attitudes in turn derive in part from a tragic incident at Albion High School where Stanley attended in the class of '71. A lot of people remember or know about it, but the blacks view it differently from the whites.

Stanley's aged mom whom he cares much for would have gone to school when segregation was widely practiced and much accepted being a kinder practice. Hers and earlier generations would have got their perspective from the not far gone days of slavery, the statues of whose proponents Jevon defaced landing him in trouble with the law. The African slave trade in turn had its start in Bible days obliquely referenced in the film.

Noah had three sons: (Gen. 9:18-19) “And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth over­spread.” God is looking at the group(s) over­spreading the Earth. Ham being an odd man out was paired with his youngest son Canaan in this biblical narrative. Shem & Japheth were the pair that remained of the three bros.

(Gen. 9:20-23) “And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the naked­ness of his father, and told his two brethren with­out. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went back­ward, and covered the naked­ness of their father; and their faces were back­ward, and they saw not their father's naked­ness.” In our movie Stanley and his brother Dale (Ed O'Neill) do good by their mother putting her in a home they can afford, while Jack their wealthy brother doesn't involve himself.

(Gen. 9:24-27) “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son [Ham] had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” Japheth was to be integrated with (to dwell in the tents of) Shem. From Shem come the Semites, of course. Writer Bodie Hodge holds forth that: “Generally, from the Middle East in the land of Shinar (modern-day Iraq, where Babel was), Japheth's descendants went north toward Europe and Asia, Ham's went toward Africa, and Shem's remained in the Middle East” (183). The servitude of Ham as passing to his youngest son Canaan also encompassed his eldest son Cush, see Gen. 10:6. Cush is Hebrew for black, whose descendants settled mostly in Africa. Canaan is the youngest son of Ham carrying on the curse of the whole family. (Jasher 73:35) “For the Lord our God gave Ham the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto their seed after them for slaves, forever.”

This is the world we inherited from our ancestors. Enter social engineering. Wise King Solomon tells us, (Prov. 26:27) “Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.” If one tries to make a level playing field by putting a handicap on whites, i.e. reparations or whatnot, the aggrieved parties will them­selves fall into the pit they dug. If one tries to make a level playing field by rolling a black stone uphill, i.e. affirmative action, it will roll right back down on its senders. It has to do with spheroids and gravity; what goes around comes around.

Jevon's girlfriend Sydney (Birgundi Baker) tells him they travel “two different paths.” They are, she says, “indoor cat and outdoor cat.” While he (and Stanley) have had it with this integration business, she's beginning to study law so she can work at more social engineering.

Production Values

“The Last Shift” (2020) as of this writing is being shown exclusively in theaters. The film was written and directed by Andrew Cohn. It stars Richard Jenkins, Shane Paul McGhie, and Ed O'Neill. Jenkins was fantastic, the others excellent. MPAA rated it R for language and some drug use. The pacing was steady, the plot a slow burn, and the editing on the money.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

I kept expecting to hear political commentary at various points but all we get is the two main characters sharing their life views. I suppose that could affect their politics, but the film does not date itself by moving in that direction. There­fore we are free to examine both sides of the coin, what­ever our persuasion. Feel free to take a date as the movie of itself doesn't raise the stakes above the hum­drum. It's low intensity and mercifully short at 1½ hours.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for an excuse to get out of the house. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

The Book of Jasher. Trans­lated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print, Web.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.