Director Gus Van Sant’s fictionalized take on Kurt Cobain’s suicide is similar in tone and execution (pun unintended) to Elephant, his fictionalized take on Columbine; which is to say, the film is virtually devoid of dramatic narrative, offers little if any understanding of its characters or their motives, and, though its art-film pretensions insist otherwise, ultimately exploits the hell out of its subject matter. Which would be okay if either film were at least entertaining, but, given their source materials, they’re not because that would be, well, exploitative. Both movies are basically punchlines we already know to jokes that were unfunny to begin with.
Anybody can point a camera at someone pulling a trigger; making us understand why and allowing us to experience the sense of loss that comes from pulling the trigger, that’s a different matter. There’s more I’d like to say about Last Days, but, honestly, the movie already robbed 97 minutes of my life. I’ll be damned if I’m going to surrender any more to it.