The Last Stand
Having ditched politics (at least officially), Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to what he does best, ludicrous, NRA-approved, gun-worshipping action movies.
In The Last Stand he’s back playing a noble, heroic, skull-stomping, right-wing authority figure blowing away those evil non-Americans. He’s Sheriff Ray Owens who presides over the Arizona back blocks town of Somerton. Police work in Somerton usually involves rescuing cats from trees but Sheriff Arnie gets to sink his teeth (literally) into some real action when a drug lord Gabrielle Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) who’s just escaped from the FBI, comes barrelling through town with his army of henchman on their way to the Mexican border. The film becomes a kind of High Noon pastiche as Arnie and his deputies await the arrival of the villain and his crew.
If you’re prepared to park your brain at the door this is actually passable dumb-ass entertainment. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously and gleefully jumps the shark on numerous occasions. It also has a bit of fun with Arnie’s action movie persona even having a laugh at the fact that he’s bit long in the tooth. It also features some dynamic action sequences including Mad Max-influenced car chases. The violence has a loud, visceral crunch and squelch and features the now-obligatory, shower of blood and brains when someone is shot in the head.
The Last Stand has the typical cast of supporting characters we’d expect in an Arnie movie: a racial minority villain, bumbling idiot deputies (Luis Guzman and Jerry Baily), a female cop who looks like a supermodel (Jaimie Alexander) and a comedy relief party animal (Johnny Knoxville) who also loves guns. The film contains two strange big name cameos with Harry Dean Stanton in a disappointingly brief role as an obstinate farmer and Forest Whittaker as the FBI boss on Cortez’ trail who actually plays no part in bringing him to justice.
This film is of course completely stupid but should appease those who want nothing more from a film than loud noises and a high body count and it may even provide a few pangs of nostalgia for Gen X-ers pining for the long lost days of the 80’s video nasty.
Nick’s rating: Two and a half stars.
Director(s): Jee-woon Kim
Release date: 21st Feb 2013
Running time: 107 mins.
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