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Review: LGBTQ thriller ‘Last Ferry’ can’t master its multiple story threads

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Ramon O. Torres, left, and Henry Ayres-Brown in the movie “Last Ferry.”
(Emblematic Pictures)

The gay-centric thriller “Last Ferry” has much creative, emotional, sexual and sociocultural terrain in mind, at least according to its production notes. So why does the film feel so convoluted and unconvincing?

As usual, it starts with the script. And the one by star Ramon O. Torres (he also co-edited and was a producer), skims the surface of the story’s loftier aspirations, often defaulting to tired stereotypes and awkwardly executed tropes. Plus, given its inconsistent viewpoint, it’s unclear exactly where on the LGBTQ continuum the movie lies.

Joseph (Torres), a young Manhattan lawyer with, it seems, limited experience in the gay world (for an attorney, he’s awfully naive), visits Fire Island for an offseason weekend of personal and romantic exploration.

But Joseph is soon “drugged and mugged” by a would-be hookup and, in his haze, may have witnessed a murder. He’s then rescued by the sympathetic Cameron (Sheldon Best), who’s renting a big house and has a few annoying pals. But is Cameron who and what he seems? Is Rafael (Myles Clohessy), Cameron’s unstable hunk of an old friend, trouble with a “T?” Will Joseph exit the island alive?

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Director Jaki Bradley can’t quite pull the story’s disparate strands together to form an effective narrative, much less a lucid finale. There’s a potentially nifty gay noir lurking about, but this “Ferry” misses the dock.

'Last Ferry'
Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Playing: Starts Aug. 30, Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood


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