Arnold Schwarzenegger. Love his joyfully entertaining movies, think he's a talentless slug, consider him a legend of action movie cinema or hate him for his personal life turmoil and politics-the man deserved better then to have his return to the silver screen shelved till the January dead hours and then have it turn in a loss. Especially when it's not half bad.
Arnold now officially in his twilight years of acting wasn't going to come back roaring to the movie world in an overblown action blast but a much more subdued one, considering his earlier work. Arnie has had better movies in Terminator 2 and far more entertaining movies in Commando but The Last Stand stands as some of his better work for it's action quotient and story.
Okay, maybe the story isn't THAT special but it isn't anything complicated or too overblown. In The Last Stand, Arnold is playing a retired LA Narcotics cop who had his fill of blood and gore in the City of Angels and moved South West to a quiet border town in Arizona and became a Sheriff. Times are quiet but uncomplicated until some sketchy characters come to town with a semi trailer full of construction parts. Seems they're building a bridge into Mexico that they're Mexican Cartel boss Cortez can get across in a stolen super Corvette from Vegas and none of the countermeasures the FBI can put up can stop him. It's all on the Sheriff and his few people to keep the criminal in town until reinforcements can show up and what ensues is a bloody stand off between them and Cortez's goons.
The best thing I liked about this movie is that Arnolds movie for ONCE is a normal guy. Other films in Arnold's cannon like The Sixth Day and Total Recall try to make Arnold a normal guy who just happens to kick the ass off of anyone. Here though older, heavier and wiser we are in on Arnold having seen his share of action surviving a drug sting years ago but also stacks the odds against him in that he may not make it out of this one. His band of 2 deputies, a town drunk and the town idiot must square off with antique firearms against a 12 man team of gangsters armed with top notch equipment, and it's ringleader who is resigned to use a replica Navy ballcap gun. It creates some tension in that Arnold could meet an end, but in the back of you're mind you're sure that Aah-nold will find a way out.
The movie stays fast and fun from it's opening prison truck break and cuts in an action beat throughout till the last third when the siege on the town takes place. Much of the action comes from Cortez tearing up highways in his new Corvette and leaving cop cars and humvees in his wake. It's car fu for the most part.
The other joy is spotting all the actors in this movie as there is some real solid talent here. Theres Arnold of course and backing him up is Luis Guzman as a deputy and Johnny Knoxville as a gun nut who surprisingly hasn't blown himself up yet. Forest Whitaker-awesome as he is doesn't do much other then snarl at computer screens and over phones at his inability to stop Cortez once he gets away but he does it well-almost as well as he did in The Shield season 5. Peter Stormare ham and cheeses it up beautifully as the lead heavy in town to put the bridge together and even though he does a horrible job covering his Swedish accent with a phoney as hell South Western one, he is way too much fun to watch. Arnold's Predator co-star Sonny Landham gets a cameo as a rich prick and in a one scene wonder as a crotchety old farmer who doesn't want you on his lawn, oh yes- Harry Dean Stanton.
The Last Stand got ignored in the slow hours of the movie going world but now on bluray I hope it finds it's audience. Arnold does have more movies planned with a new Conan movie and even a Twins sequel. It's up there with other action movies with an R rating meaning the violence is going to be bloody and ugly. It's not dumbed down to sell more tickets nor to appeal to younger audiences who may not even want to see Arnold anyway. I wanted to see him and hopefully we'll see more. Even better is if we get something as good as this so called "Last" stand.
I know many of you would be thinking that I went to see “The Last Stand” because it marks the return of action superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger to the big screen (in the lead role) since “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines“. That would only be partially true. I went to see this film because it marked the debut of Korean director Kim Ji-Woon as a director in an American production. Most Asian directors often don’t really make it that big in Hollywood; aside from action … more
I know I can’t be the first person to associate Kim Jee-Woon’s amazingly tepid THE LAST STAND with late 80’s / early 90’s action cinema, can I? This flick feels like it must’ve gathered dust for at least three decades without anyone so much as picking it up and offering a simple rewrite. Why Arnold Schwarzenegger would choose this project as his ‘comeback from retirement’ picture is a complete loss to me unless he wanted to remind … more
Dusty town Sheriff makes a stand in his border town against an escaped Cartel bigshot who has a small army of men planning his escape into Mexico. Great to see Arnold back on screen even if the movie isn't anything too special. It is at least better then his later 90's faire.
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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