Milan Celic (Goran Bogdan) and his team have crafted the perfect diamond heist and everything elegantly goes according to plan, until, while making their escape, one of the robbers gets nervous and shoots at the cops, killing an innocent little girl in the process. Once a simple robbery has the stink of murder on it, the original buyers want nothing to do with the tainted diamonds and the robbery team must scramble to sell the merchandise and survive.
Investigating the crime is French-Algerian cop Khalil Rachedi (Tahar Rahim), along with Naomi Franckom (Samantha Morton), a diamond specialist sent by her boss, Tom (John Hurt) to recover the stolen gems for the insurance company. Make no mistake, Khalil and Naomi aren't working together, but separately, and Naomi often steps on Khalil's toes as her methods are ruthless, but effective.
As the story unfolds, we learn a good bit about Milan's background and the actual reason he has embarked on this dangerous heist. He is closely involved with the dangerous world of Serbian organized crime and has old ties to Zlato, the leader who is trying to get out of the dirty side of crime and into the more legal/investment side.
To complicate matters for Khalil, his younger brother is involved with the local crime gang, and as Khalil tries desperately to clean up the neighborhood he grew up in, his entire family feels the pressure of the criminal element, even as Khalil discovers corruption in the police department.
As Khalil and Naomi separately follow the diamonds all around the world, the political corruption and intrigue that is attached to the gems evolves and unfolds, with fairly disastrous results for all involved.
There are a good handful of short behind the scenes featurettes, but they aren't necessary viewing and mainly just provided a little bit of background about the director's vision and how the story was brought to the screen.
While I originally thought The Last Panthers would be more about the diamond heist gang, it actually turned out to be much more of a political thriller, taking the viewer from France, to Bosnia and Serbia, Hungary and more, and it required unwavering attention since five languages are used in the film, so it's constantly subtitled. I love a good caper film and I enjoy action, but The Last Panthers was much more focused on the political side of things and it just wasn't what I expected. The acting is stellar and I could listen to the crisp speech patterns of Samantha Morton and John Hurt all day long, but in the end, I just didn't find it all that exciting. A lot happened in the six episodes, but I, personally, felt it was more drawn out than it needed to be. The intro video and song, Blackstar, by the late, great David Bowie is a visual and audio treat, and if you are a fan of deeply involved political intrigue, than you may really enjoy The Last Panthers, but for me, there were just too many characters and offshoot stories happening for me to really become invested in most of the characters. Also, don't read the intro text for each episode, because one in particular does completely spoil what happens in an episode. Just a warning.