A droll comedy about life in a dead-end town in the Highlands of Scotland, One Last Chance stars Jamie Sives as Fitz, a twentysomething slacker desperate to see what lies beyond the misty glens. After stumbling across a nugget of gold, Fitz thinks he's found a chance to escape. Unfortunately, the gangsters in the local curling club have other plans. The debut of writer-director Stewart Svaasand, this blackly comic farce is an enjoyable romp with a fantastic performance from Sives.
Trapped in the one-horse town of Tullybridge, Fitz and his friends Seany (Kevin McKidd) and Nellie (Iain Robertson) are the only no-hoper slackers who haven't been lured away to bigger and better things. Fitz needs £1,000 to stash his old man in a retirement home and escape to the south. His only hope is that the three of them can flog the nugget to Frankie the Fence (Dougray Scott). In a town as small as Tullybridge, though, the discovery of gold is a hard secret to keep, and pretty soon the local hard man and Curling Club chairman Harry (Jimmy Chisholm) is sniffing around.
Throw in two dead bodies, a jeep abandoned in the local loch, and a preordained chain of farcical coincidences, and you've got One Last Chance. It's a modest little comedy that plays to its strengths with some witty dialogue ("I have as much sympathy for you as Thatcher had for the miners"), and two entertainingly daffy turns from two of Scotland's up-and-coming young actors - Sives (Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself) and McKidd (Dog Soldiers).
Never quite as freewheeling or ambitious as it ought to have been, there's a nicely observed edge to most of the laughs here, with a real sense of the deprivations of the Highlands: "Times were hard," recalls Fitz of his childhood. "At Christmas, if you woke up without an erection, you had nothing to play with." Shot on location in grey, miserable conditions, it's easy to sympathise with these three hare-brained characters' desire to escape from this parochial world of one pub, one shop, and a Masonic local curling club.