James Cromwell’s new feature, Never Too Late, plays a little too saccharine sweet, considering the subject matter. Played as a light comedy, opportunities for real commentary on age, veteran affairs, and even love and friendship are set aside for a film that feels like it may be more at home on the Hallmark channel than the big screen.
Imagine a crack team of elite soldiers, an A-team if you will, who returned to the world after the Vietnam War, and tried to find their way. Flash forward fifty years, and they find themselves living in a rest home for returned veterans. They were once the best of the best, but now, age has claimed them, and things, like pulling on their shoes is more of a trial.
James Cromwell’s Jack Bronson is looking for the love of his life, hoping to physically reconnect with her for the first time in fifty years. Norma (Jacki Weaver) is suffering from an onset of dementia, but with the right urging can recall her first meeting with Jack, and it is from there that our story takes it’s main narrative push.
When Norma is moved to another facility, Jack and his old team, Caine (Dennis Waterman), Wilson (Jack Thompson) and Wendell (Roy Billing) plan one last great escape, to bust out and complete one last mission, reuniting Norma and Jack.
There is a confluence of coincidental narrative threads throughout the film, a confluence that just makes things a little too neat. And the humour, and story itself, is a little too gentle for a group of veterans who served in the hellhole that was the Vietnam War. I expected, and hoped for something a little brusquer, funnier, and one that embraced the reality of age, love and war.
Everything plays a little too simply, eschewing the opportunity for dramatic and funny moments, by playing things sweetly. To be honest, I like the idea, there’s a great seed at the centre of this narrative, but unfortunately it is too late for this film, it never came to fruition.
- Release Date: 8/14/2020