Last Will is a recent movie starring Tatum O’Neill as a newlywed who marries into a very rich family. Her husband, played by Tom Berenger, is a nice guy who is also a surgeon, but it soon becomes apparent that his two younger brothers are much less appealing characters. Tatum is perceived by the brothers as a gold-digger – which she isn’t – and things take a nasty turn after she becomes involved in the family business.
The husband, an older man, has a history of health problems and it is soon telegraphed that he is not in great shape. When a rich person in a crime movie makes a fuss about signing a new will, it does not take a Poirot to deduce that he isn’t long for this world. And, all too soon, Tatum is widowed. But worse is to follow when evidence points to her having killed her husband in order to inherit.
Fortunately, a likeable cop, played by James Brolin, is on hand, and he has good reason not to like the surviving brothers. But matters go from bad to worse during a court case over the inheritance, when it emerges that the judge is in the brother’s pocket. Tatum’s brother, who is also her lawyer, does a bit of amateur detective work, and is beaten up for his pains. How can the grieving widow save herself?
This is quite an entertaining thriller, and it isn’t formulaic. I really liked Brolin’s performance, which was the strongest part of the film. But I did think that the story-line jumped around a lot, and some of it struck me as unconvincing. I know that American law is different from British law, but even so.... I’d rate this as worth watching, but not much above average. If you want a great film with plenty of legal twists and turns, Body Heat remains at the top of the heap.