Last Looks (also titled Waldo) is a Hollywood noir thriller based on the novel written by Howard Michael Gould. The film, directed by Tim Kirkby, follows an ex-LAPD detective, Charlie Waldo, who returns to Hollywood Land to investigate the murder of Monica, the wife of a famous television actor, Alastair Pinch. The light-hearted comedy subtly explores the dark side of the glamorous industry where everything happens for a greedy reason. But will our protagonist be able to unravel the motives of hounds who hide themselves in expensive suits? Will he be able to look beyond the glossy lives of Hollywood stars?
‘Last Looks’ Plot Summary
11 years ago, LAPD detective Charlie Waldo (Charlie Hunnam) arrested a kid, Lydell Lipps, in a homicide. Two years later, he discovered that Lydell Lipps was innocent and that his partner, 7-Eleven, had framed him in a personal vendetta. Charlie, who arrested Lydell Lipps, tried to prove his innocence. But he soon realized that the system was designed to put a guilty man in and not take an innocent man out of prison. In frustration, Charlie left the LAPD and gave interviews to almost anyone who was willing to hear them. His actions flamed his relationship with the system, but Charlie didn’t care. He left Hollywood land and settled in the woods with 100 possessions to his name.
Last Looks begins as Charlie’s ex-girlfriend, Lorena Nascimento (Morena Baccarin), pays him a visit and offers him a job. A Hollywood studio, Black Bear, wants to hire Charlie as a private investigator to investigate the murder of Monica, the wife of Alastair Pinch. Alastair, who is suspected of murdering his wife, stars in Black Bear’s most grossing television drama, Johnnie’s Bench. The studio cannot afford to lose their star actor and thus is paying for a high-profile lawyer along with a famous private detective like Charlie, who is passionate about finding the truth.
However, Charlie refuses to take the job because he desires neither fame nor name. Lorena leaves Charlie’s trailer, requesting him to consider the offer.
A few days later, a cop arrives at Charlie’s place and informs him that Lorena has gone missing. She has stolen something of interest from her boss, Don Queue, a cartel lord. Don Q suspects that Lorena dropped his “mem” with Charlie and thus tries to threaten him. At night, a group of punks attack Charlie in his trailer and warn him to stay out of Pinch’s case. When Charlie informs them that he hasn’t accepted the job yet, the punks show him the newspaper report that claims that Charlie Waldo is investigating the murder of Monica Pinch.
When Charlie fails to contact Lorena, he decides to meet with the head of the Black Bear Studio, Wilson Sikorsky (Rupert Friend), in LA. But before Charlie can refuse the job, Wilson convinces him to take the case, and Charlie becomes a private eye for Alastair Pinch.
What Happened To Monica Pinch?
While everyone suspected Alastair for the murder of his wife, Charlie intuitively believed that there was more to the mystery than what meets the eye. Charlie started his investigation from the crime scene i.e. Alastair’s house where Monica was murdered.
Alastair told Charlie that dreadful Saturday, he woke up wasted with no recollection of what happened the previous night. In a state of hangover, he entered the living room and found Monica lying unconscious with an injury on her head. He found shattered piece of vase near her body which the detectives believed was used to murder Monica.
The forensic doctor, Freddie, told Charlie Monica died from a cerebral hemorrhage. Charlie was certain that an earth vase could create such an impact. While in conversation with his ex-accomplices, Charlie figured out that the killer was a strong lefty, not a drunken righty like Alastair. And Monica was probably hit with a Regis Award trophy that Alastair received in England. Unfortunately, the murder weapon was missing, and that complicated the case.
What Was Jayne Hiding?
While investigating the background of Monica and Alastair, Charlie met a spirited kindergarten teacher, Jayne White (Lucy Fry), who used to teach Pinch’s daughter, Gabby. Jayne was extremely thrilled to meet controversial ex-cop Charlie and wanted to know all about his past life. Curiosity soon turned into a passionate romance until Charlie found a secret about Jayne.
The moment Charlie stepped into Alastair’s house, he suspected that the furniture had been rearranged or moved for some reason. The night table that belonged to the living room was swapped with the one in the bedroom and vice versa. On further investigation, Charlie found a burner phone hidden inside the night table in Alastair’s room.
Alastair used the cellphone to contact Jayne because he was having an affair with her. But Jayne confessed to Charlie that Alastair wasn’t the only kindergarten dad with whom she got involved. Jayne, a young blood who came to Hollywood looking for a rush and a thrill, had no intention of becoming a teacher. When famous dads like Darius Jamshidi and Swag Dogggg showed an interest in her, Jayne used the opportunity.
So Charlie finally figured out that all those people thrashing him in his trailer and trying to stop him from investigating Monica’s murder case, didn’t want Charlie to find out about kindergarten dads and their affair with Jayne White. Hence, when Charlie unraveled Jayne’s secret, she disappeared from the scene with Alastair’s unborn child.
Who Murdered Monica Pinch?
Monica found out that Jayne was pregnant with Alastair’s child. Hence, on the night of her murder, she texted Jayne using Alastair’s burner phone and called her to the house. Soon, Jayne thought that Alastair wanted to talk about their future, but soon her dreams were shattered. Monica confronted Jayne and blamed the glamorous city of L.A. for ruining her married life. However, according to Jayne, Monica turned violent and so she drove away. So, who killed Monica?
Monica wanted to return to England with Alastair and Gabby, which meant that Alastair would leave the show as well. For Black Bear Studios, Johnnie’s Bench was the only show that brought in income. If the show had been closed, Wilson Sikorsky would have become financially bankrupt. He would have had to sell his studio to Darius Jamshidi. Wilson was also having an affair with Monica, and thus, to save himself from bankruptcy and scandal, he killed Monica in anger.
Sikorsky’s show got a lot of free publicity after Monica’s death. He decided to reap the benefits and hired controversial Charlie and popular Fontella Davis to handle Alastair’s case. No one believed that Charlie would solve the case, but fortunately he did.
Charlie was threatened by a lawyer named Warren Gomes, hired by Darius Jamshidi. Warren found out about Wilson Sikorsky’s affair with Monica Pinch and started blackmailing him. To shut Warren’s mouth, Sikorsky bribed him with his Gadokey skeleton watch. But when Warren asked for more, Sikorsky killed him.
‘Last Looks’ Ending, Explained
At the end of Last Looks, Charlie confronted Sikorsky with the truth. The two men played football while exchanging facts. During the exchange, Charlie revealed that he was 98 percent sure that Sikorsky attacked Monica with the Regis trophy, but he just wanted to make sure that Sikorsky was lefty. The autopsy report confirmed that a strong lefty attacked Monica that night, and this evidence was enough to arrest Sikorsky. However, before the cops could arrive, Sikorsky ran away from his office.
Last Looks refers to the cast’s final touch-ups before the filming shot. Hence, being true to its title, the final battle took place on the sets of Johnnie’s Bench, where Sikorsky tried to smash Charlie’s head with a production light. But thankfully, Don Q saved Charlie’s life and shot Sikorsky.
Don Q saved Charlie because he wanted back the memory stick that Lorena stole from him. He revealed that a memory stick contained a poem that Don Q wrote for his daughter, Elsie, to save her from the world of crime. Charlie promised to return the memory drive on the condition that Don Q would allow Lorena to come back to the city. Don Q wanted Charlie to arrange a seat at a private school for Elsie. Well, Charlie had one school in mind, and with Alastair on his side, it was easy for Charlie to get Elsie a proper education.
Hence, in the end, Alastair left alcohol and became sober for his daughter, while Lorena returned to Hollywood and was reunited with Charlie. The two romantics chased their “unfinished business” and sparked their relationship again.
Last Looks (or Waldo) is a 2021 crime thriller film directed by Tim Kirkby.