This article discusses the ending of the Netflix film The Last Mercenary, so it contains spoilers.
Ready Steady Cut Film Critic, M.N. Miller, said The Last Mercenary is filled with “Cartoonish vibes and mind-numbing supporting characters.”
The Last Mercenary – the set-up
A former secret, clandestine agent for the French government, Richard (Jean-Claude Van Damme) makes money on the side by rescuing spoiled children from rich families or politicians. He races back to his home country when his son, Archibald (Samir Decazza), is accused of arms dealing with a side of drug trafficking. Oh, did we mention he left his son before he was born to protect him? So, Richard is giddy with anticipation thinking he will meet his younger self. Tough, charismatic, and probably can handle himself in the toughest situations. Except his son has grown up to be an anxious, scared man child who doesn’t have a driver’s license.
Netflix’s The Last Mercenary – the ending explained.
When The Last Mercenary reaches its end, we find out the villain behind the entire plot of the “Big Mac,” a weapon that can take out a city’s power grid, was not any untrustworthy government employee from the impertinent agency officials or a crazed, gold speedo wearing mob hitman with a get out of jail free card. It was Richard’s long-time Angel to his Charlie, Marguerite (Miou-Miou). She did it for the money, and her son was the front for the French mob.
She is also disappointed with how her whiny, yuppy son has turned out. And in true Seinfeld fashion, yadda yadda yadda, Richard’s team and one of those overzealous government officials save the day by apprehending Marguerite before they can sell the big off switch to the head of that French mon syndicate. In the final scene, even though Richard has found a family with his team and is reunited with his son, he pushes the button, the lights go out, and The Last Mercenary walks away, going back to a lonely existence.
You can interpret the film’s script as the generation gap between pre and post-millennials. “We had it tougher” is the attitude. In comparison, the new generation is too soft, too sensitive, and prone to avoiding alcohol to cope with problems. You know, like a man. The younger generation shows Richard you can have both (tough and smart; smart and creative) to overcome obstacles. He then shows Archy what leadership and bravery are all about. Your basic, “I’m not teaching him, he’s teaching me” theme. Richard walks away, possibly thinking he has now made sure his son will be fine on his own.