The film I watched at the Roseville cinemas was called ‘Never Too Late’. It is an Australian movie set in a retirement home which houses old war veterans. The actors are mostly Australian but also includes American James Cromwell (playing Jack Bronson) and British actor Dennis Waterman (Jeremiah).
An old Vietnam war veteran (Bronson) wants to propose to Norma, who he hadn’t seen for years. Norma thought he had been lost in the war and had gone on to marry someone else. Now many years after her husband passed away, the two are briefly reunited in a nursing home. Norma is payed by Jackie Weaver, who seems to be in just about every Australian movie or series I watch. That said she is a bloody good actress.
The problem is that Norma is showing early stages of dementia and has been moved to another home so Bronson needs to propose to her while she still remembers him. He tries alone to get out of the nursing home but soon realises he needs help. It just so happens that three of his old comrades are also locked up in the same nursing home and together they devise a plan to break out.
Cromwell’s character is a bit like Steve McQueen’s in ‘The Great Escape‘, trying all ways to escape only to be caught and then held under increasingly stricter conditions.
The four Vietnam war heroes are famous for escaping from a prisoner of war camp. But that was a long time ago and they have learnt that the Hogan Hills Retirement Home is now their new prison. It turns out that all four of the ex-comrades have a good reason to escape the nursing home from hell and they all need to do it before it’s too late. After years apart the old soldiers teach each other that it’s never too late to realise your dreams.
I will not pretend that this is a great film and that it deserves all kinds of awards. But it is enjoyable and easy to watch despite the fact that it covers some very serious older age issues like dementia, cancer and even death. The film manages to cleverly treat these important matters with enough humour that it would be difficult for anyone not to enjoy – even for those facing similar problems in their family.
I was one of only five watching it and managed to bring the average audience age down to, I would say, about 75. The older viewers certainly seemed to enjoy it, laughing at all the old-age affliction related jokes.
On a five star rating system I would give the movie 3.5 out of 5 and can recommend it as an easy to watch comedy. I suppose it is a bit of a romantic comedy too, with a touch of sadness thrown in. You could even call it a feel good movie.
One last point. The whole concept of the film is based around these old people being held prisoner. Not even being allowed out to visit loved ones etc… That would have seemed a little too unbelievable until recently wouldn’t it? Food for thought perhaps…