Holding Out? – Last Hold Film Review

‘Tis the season to write about a winter themed group Snow Man, and their film exploits considering I have covered their most recent drama production. Also, I wanted to get this review out before the new year, since they will no longer be Jr’s in January. I feel as though this film is quite reflective of their trainee period. The film in question being ‘Last Hold’.
‘Last Hold’ is the story of Okajima Kentaro (Tsukada Ryoichi) the last member of his college’s bouldering club. In order to not have his beloved club disbanded he needs to recruit new members for the team! By the magic of being only an hour and a half film Kentaro does find these new members. Of course minus Kawaguchi Yuji (Iwamoto Hikaru) the group is filled with newbies! In addition, Kentaro is in his final year of college so prepping a team of newbies on top of his job hunt adds to the drama.

This story isn’t for serious film buffs, not by a long shot. This story isn’t even for fans of bouldering, but is a pure Johnny’s fan movie even more then Shonentachi was. The pacing was absolutely laughable, being a whirlwind of near instantaneous new members added, then competition, a touch of backstory here and there, followed by the ‘incident’, etc. It was incredibly predictable, without a single attempt at trying to build any more then superficial suspense.

Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 3.04.07 PM
The bouldering dream team.

The premise was a lot of well-loved, and rather over-used troupes that worked well enough for this story. Each character, which was all of pre-2019 Snow Man, and their A.B.C-Z sempai Tsukada Ryoichi fit each troupe fairly well. The amount of bro-iness surprised me a bit (protein anyone?), but was charming in it’s own right. The chemistry between the cast was incredibly good, almost a little too good for guys that supposedly had nothing in common before getting recruited for bouldering though.

As far as I’m aware, the technical aspects and training for bouldering were presented fairly well. The terminology and techniques described were accurate to my knowledge. Johnny’s does have fairly high standards for research and execution. It was also fairly coincidental that shortly before I watched ‘Last Hold’, the guys revisited the techniques in a Jr. Channel video with the new members.

I’m trying to find something more to say about this film, but I’m drawing up a bit blank. The premise was solid. The story had a beginning, middle, and end that just suffered break neck pacing due to the short run time. I would have liked something with a little more substance when having so many characters introduced at once. The positives of that pacing is that there wasn’t any time to get bored or too off track.

For what it is, a film made up of Johnny’s cast, aimed at Johnny’s fans, it’s not a bad film. There’s no abrupt musical numbers either. For a fan like myself, I’m glad I was able to watch. It was a fun film to pass some time with. However, I would not go out of my way to re-watch it.

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