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The Last Days of American Crime Ending, Explained

June 5, 2020
6 min read

‘The Last Days of American Crime‘ is a Netflix original film that combines heist fiction with a dystopian premise. The movie is based on a graphic novel of the same name by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini. With an effective combination of two popular genres, Netflix aims to emulate the Hollywood blockbuster formula once again. If you want to find out whether it manages to do so, you can read the film’s review here.

‘The Last Days of American Crime’ packs a rather prominent cast. Edgar Ramirez plays the character of a criminal named Graham Bricke, who plans a heist along with characters played by Anna Brewster and Michael Pitt.

The Last Days of American Crime Plot Summary:

‘The Last Days of American Crime’ is set in a dystopian world wherein the United States government plans on launching a signal called the American Peace Initiative (API) that would interfere with people’s minds and disallow them from doing anything illegal or immoral. A criminal named Graham Bricke’s brother finds out that his brother, Rory, has committed suicide in prison.

Bricke is approached by a couple. Dupree and Kevin Cash for a heist plan. The two of them wish to steal a large sum of money from the city’s mint by delaying the signal’s broadcast using a honey trap set up by Dupree. Bricke’s friend, Ross, also joins the team. Dupree is actually an FBI informant. The FBI plan on catching Kevin Cash. They have released Dupree’s sister into Canada and threaten to harm her if Dupree does not cooperate.

On the night of the heist, Dupree goes to the API Tower to seduce the systems manager and delay the signal. Cash, Ross, and Bricke go to the mint and steal the money. After leaving the mint, there is a brief period of time when the signal is retransmitted due to a police officer that stops Dupree. At this time, despite the signal, Cash manages to shoot Bricke twice and kill Ross. However, the FBI agents that Dupree had been working with kill Cash. Then, Bricke eats the neurotoxin that he had purchased earlier in the film and proceeds to kill the FBI agents.

Bricke picks up Dupree from the API tower and the two escape to Canada. After reaching there, Bricke dies. Later, Dupree is shown releasing Rory’s ashes into a water body. She drives off in a car with her sister.

The Last Days Of American Crime Ending Explained:

Viewers would have had tons of questions towards the end of ‘The Last Days of American Crime.’ There are several revelations made at the end of the film. Moreover, viewers would have also wondered what the ending signifies.

To begin with, the scene at the end of the movie sees Dupree driving off with her sister. That scene signifies freedom. It signifies how freedom is the most valued treasure, above money and everything else. Dupree does not really get much money from the heist. She does not leave with the truck. However, she manages to find her sister.

Dupree is finally free in entirety. The FBI agents that used to trouble her were killed by Bricke. Hence, she does not need to worry about her or her sister’s safety. Moreover, one of the themes of the entire movie is also freedom. The API threatens to strip the people of their freedom. Even though it promises to reduce crime, it would take away the people’s ability to make choices. One might argue that people can still do everything that is legal with absolute freedom. However, the API ensures that the government and society largely set the rules for what is right and wrong. While the signal works on inner morality, the API would also ensure that there is no dissent.

How Does Cash Shoot Bricke Despite the API?

Viewers would have also wondered how Cash manages to override the API and shoot Bricke and Ross. How does he manage to continue doing immoral/illegal things despite the API being transmitted at the time? That is explained in the movie itself.

To begin with, the API relies on inner policing. It relies on people’s morality. Even the most troublesome criminals know when they are doing something wrong. Even a murderer knows that murdering is inherently wrong. Hence, the signal merely makes people obey their inner morality.

Now, the character of Cash is depicted to be extremely disturbed. He has tons of unresolved family issues. When he and Bricke go to his family’s house, it is revealed that he hates his father. It is revealed that he had had sex with his stepmother and gets angry with his father after it is revealed that he killed her. Moreover, he is also extremely jealous of his sister. At that time, he manages to kill both his father and his sister. Hence, his inner morality is anyway quite clouded.

Even someone like Cash knows when something (including his own actions) is immoral. However, when he had been in prison, the guards would test the API on him and Rory. They would broadcast the signal and make the two fight each other. At first, neither of them would be able to hit the other because of the immorality of their actions. However, because of Cash’s disturbed (almost psychopathic) mental makeup, he is able to crush his inner morality. It is as if he trains his mind not to give in to his inner morality after being exposed to the API.

How Does Bricke Manage to Shoot the FBI Officers Despite the API?

While Cash overriding the API is explained above, viewers would have also wondered how Bricke manages to do the same a little later. He is certainly way more stable than Cash and has had no “training” with the API. Well, earlier in the movie, he is depicted to be buying a neurotoxin. He eats the neurotoxin pills himself while the FBI agents are leaving.

The neurotoxins are portrayed to be extremely strong and described as “melt-your-fucking-brain shit.” Hence, the pills start to harm Bricke’s brain. However, that means that the API has little to no impact on his mind. Thus, he is able to override the API and shoot the FBI officers. Unfortunately, his bullet wounds and/or the neurotoxins kill him once he reaches Canada.

Read More: Is The Last Days of American Crime Based on a True Story?

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