We have a new trailer for The Last Shift. This is one of relatively few new movies arriving in theaters this fall, at least when compared to any typical year. Sony Pictures picked up the rights after the movie debuted at Sundance earlier this year and they are opting to see what it can do in the uncertain theatrical marketplace. It stars Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water, Step Brothers) in what is described as “an American story about two men struggling in the same town, while worlds apart.” Based on the trailer, that seems to be an apt description.
The trailer opens up by revealing that Richard Jenkins’ character is getting ready to retire from his fast food job after nearly four decades. Before he leaves, he is going to have to train his replacement. There is a bit of charming hesitation, as this man clearly cares about his job. A job that many might consider undesirable. The two clash but seemingly manage to find enough common ground to enjoy one another’s company.
Andrew Cohn wrote and directed the movie. The cast also includes Shane Paul McGhie, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Birgundi Baker, Allison Tolman and Ed O’Neill. This serves as Cohn’s narrative feature directorial debut. He previously directed documentaries such as Medora, Night School and the docuseries Warriors of Liberty City.
The Last Shift centers on Stanley (Richard Jenkins), an aging fast-food worker who is planning on calling it quits after 38 years working the graveyard shift at Oscar’s Chicken and Fish. His final weekend on the job involves training his replacement Jevon (Shane Paul McGhie), a talented but stalled young writer whose political nature keep getting him in trouble. The two don’t have much in common and are only brought together through circumstance. Stanley is a high school dropout who has watched life pass by his drive-through window and proudly details the nuances of the job. Jevon, meanwhile, is a columnist too smart to be flipping burgers who contends their work is being exploited. Against the odds, a bit of comradery sparks during the long overnight hours in a quiet kitchen.
The good news for Sony, in this case, is a lack of big-name, direct competition. Its only direct competition is Kajillionaire, which is getting a modest release. Following the release of Tenet virtually every major release seems to be vacating 2020. Some smaller movies are still arriving throughout the fall there are no blockbusters to get in the way until No Time to Die arrives in November, as it’s expected Disney will move both Black Widow and Soul. This to say, a small movie like this could benefit from a lack of competition. The operative word being could.
Critics were generally kind to the movie coming out of Sundance. It is hard to know what might have come of it in a year not plagued with problems. But it is getting its day in the sun soon enough. The Last Shift arrives on September 25 from Sony Pictures. Be sure to check out the trailer for yourself.