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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone—

Last Seen Alive on IMDb

Plot Overview

in fur coatmoney bagsWill Spann (Gerard Butler) a second generation immigrant from down under is making hay on the American dream as is their wont. His real estate business has netted him a two storey house, a rockin' boat, and a trophy wife. Popular Lisa (Jaimie Alexander) married him just out of high school breaking some poor dude's heart who couldn't compete. Her all-American parents Barry and Anna Adams (Bruce Altman & Cindy Hogan) have a similar age gap, so they were cool the union. Will has proven him­self a hard worker, a good provider, and an honest business­man, good to his employees, faith­ful to his wife, and easy for his in-laws to get along with. When Lisa felt “unfulfilled,” she had a brief affair for which Will has since forgiven her. They have no children.

groceriesquiltingsmileLisa has not cottoned to being a happy home­maker and wants a break to visit her folks. Driving there they stop for gas in the friendly town where Lisa grew up sans the wariness the rich have for the envious hoi polloi. This naive girl disap­pears from the gas station, and the local constab­ulary Det. Paterson (Russell Hornsby) true to his Negro roots hasn't got the hang of naturally defer­ring to the rich, so he wastes precious time inter­rogating ever-so-cooperative Will. Will, how­ever, knows how to make things happen and sets out to find his wife on his own.


home readingThere's a special section in the middle of the Bible called the wisdom books. They're layered by perspective. First comes the book of Job, a long dispute that concludes God's wisdom is above man's and he doesn't tell us every­thing. Then comes the book of Psalms presenting wisdom lyrically. Proverbs is next, for the most part the wisdom a father passes on to his son, but the next-to-the-last chapter (30) is street smarts that one's friends may convey, and the last chapter (31) is the wisdom a mother passes on to her son. Then comes Ecclesiastes preaching wisdom got by experience. Finally, there's the Song of Solomon, the wisdom spouted by someone in love.

“Last Seen Alive” presents the street smarts one guy might pass on to his buddy. As, (Prov. 30:1) “The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy: the man spake unto Ithiel, even unto Ithiel and Ucal,” Agur is hardly the sharpest knife in the drawer. (Prov. 30:2-3) “Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the under­standing of a man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.” This movie will acquaint us with some low-hanging fruit, to avoid either extreme. (Prov. 30:7) “Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:”

beakers(Prov. 30:8-9) “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Vanity is encountered by Will when he checks out a back woods operation of one Frank (David Kallaway) whose name came up in his quest. Frank's operation is guarded by men who are either on their potty break or siesta break, and neither the one's radio nor the other's shot­gun is in working order. You know you're not looking good for making an honest buck when your employer hires inept, amateur security.

One also wants to avoid positions where he is required to lie. The counter clerk Oscar (Michael Irby) at the gas station convenience store where Lisa purchased some water, claims he never saw her and that the CCTV wasn't working, both untrue. What is he into?

Avoid extremes; “give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.” Det. Paterson has that down when he demurs from commenting on the size of the rich guy's life insurance policy saying, “I make cop money; I don't make develop­ment money.” His occupation is consistent with President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Procla­mation that to the newly liberated slaves had “recommend[ed] … that, in all cases when allowed they labor faith­fully for reason­able wages.” He was not touting inconvenient reparations. That would be more in line with novelist Steve Berry's account from King Henry VIII:

“If a man fills his belly with venison and pork, with slices of beef and pasties of veal, if he washes them down with flood­tides of ale and wine that never knows neap.” Henry paused. “He will reap his tares in a black hour. He will be none the happier for his swollen estate.” (3)

Bible in hand“Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD?” That seems to be the case of Will who worked to no end as a real estate developer to make “a beautiful life,” but he left God completely out of the picture. In his consequent dark hour he had his wife saying, “I don't feel any­thing any­more. It's like I'm just numb.” At the end of the movie, Det. Paterson quotes half of a familiar line from scripture, and we expect to hear Will complete it, but he doesn't. God is not part of his life.

“Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” The idea here is that a poor man driven to theft will swear up and down in God's name he didn't take it. Handy­man Pete “Knuckles” Daniels (Ethan Embry) worked piecemeal at what­ever he could find, and he lived in a hovel. Doing some inside work for the Adams's, he was privy to their rich daughter's planned visit, and that left him open to temptation.

Production Values

” was directed by Brian Goodman. The story was written by Marc Frydman. It stars Gerard Butler, Jaimie Alexander and Russell Hornsby. Butler carried the entire film and he carried it well although some­times he tried too hard. Jamie Alexander has limited exposure to keep us guessing. Russell Hornsby played a cop originally out of his depth, but he made a fast recovery. I just figure it was the town's own business whom they wanted to hire. The diverse cast all played to type.

MPAA rated it R for pervasive language, violence and some drug material. It was filmed in Savannah, Georgia, USA. The visual effects held up OK with the odd CGI as needed. The camera­man made good use of angled shots. The music ratcheted up the tension nicely. The film is about 1½ hours long. The back­story must be pieced together through settings, flash­backs, and dialogue.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is a solid popcorn movie short on surprises. It moves right along. The awful lesson of what can happen to Mr. Successful when he leaves God out of his life is demonstrated through God's absence rather than by any preaching.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

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

Berry, Steve. The King's Deception. Copy­right © 2013 by Steve Berry. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013. Print.