Aside from all the horror, dread and interminable teary goodbyes from family and loved ones, knowing the exact minute the world will end would be pretty great.
Eat what you want. Go where you want. Finally confess that your favorite movie isn't The Godfather, it's Patch Adams.
In which case your end can't come too soon. Still, given the apocalypse and all, who cares what anyone else thinks? Like the characters in 1998's Last Night, why not go out on your own terms?
With the world ending at midnight, the residents of Toronto react to the nameless event in their own ways. Architect Don McKellar thinks he would like to spend his final hours alone, but finds an unlikely companion in Sandra Oh, who's trying to make it home to her husband before the clock runs out.
Like 2012, Last Night is an apocalypse movie. But this is like saying Star Wars and Solaris are space movies, or that Cajun-grilled snapper and the contents of your sink strainer are dinners. Technically accurate, but if you go in expecting one and wind up getting the other, the person who misled you had better enjoy getting punched.
I don't, except when I make a pun so bad even I agree I had it coming, so let me be very clear. Last Night has no nuclear bombs, giant asteroids or mutating neutrinos. Nobody lights a cigar in one hand while using the other to drop a grenade down the mothership's exhaust port. There are a few riots and random acts of violence, but this isn't one of those end-of-the-world scenarios that makes everyone dying look like the greatest thing since the last Zelda game.
Instead, Last Night is a quiet, existential look at the ways different people react to knowing the exact moment when they will die. Mostly, they're absurd. David Cronenberg's character spends his final hours at the gas company calling customers to thank them for their service. Callum Keith Rennie plots out all the people he would like to screw. But ridiculous or petty as these acts seem, writer/director/star Don McKellar doesn't judge his characters or their final wishes, granting them each their own brand of dignity.
Most of Last Night is nothing that will blow your socks off. Still, its characters, humor and insight keep it worth watching through an ending as powerful as any earthbound meteor.
* Contact Ed Robertson at email@example.com.