THE LAST STAND
With Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Peter Stormare, Rodrigo Santoro, Luis Guzmán, Eduardo Noriega, Harry Dean Stanton, Jaimie Alexander
Written by Andrew Knauer, Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Directed by Jee-woon Kim
When Stallone resurrected the big action names with The Expendables, Schwarzenegger only made a cameo appearance in both. With distractions like being governor and impregnating domestic workers, it was time that he took another stab at the genre that made him a household name.
This action-packed flick has Arnie in the role of a small border town sheriff. Most of the folks have (conveniently) left the sleepy spot to support their team in a ball game, while an escaped Mexican drug cartel leader is speeding towards the town, to cross into Mexico. With the FBI on his trail (head by Oscar-winner Whitaker), the ruthless criminal is making his escape in a souped-up sports car stolen from a car show. So, why didn't he just board a helicopter and get it over with? Well, for starters, there wouldn't be a movie(!), but they try to explain the logic behind it in the thrill-rush controlling streak of the man's character profile. So, with the sheriff's day off soon to be shattered, and his small deputy staff completely unprepared for a high firepower confrontation, the scene is set. Throw in Johnny Knoxville hamming it up as a nitwit gun nut (casting inadvertent light on how easy it is for any moron in the USA to horde an arsenal), and an Iraq vet locked up for minor disturbance - they join Arnie's team to stop the madman and his henchmen from wrecking their town and escaping justice. Well, the former is naturally not a possibility as tons of bullets get exchanged, and the chances of the latter not coming to pass with extreme prejudice is highly unlikely.
With an Arnold movie, humour has to be a part of proceedings (to make light of the flesh ripping, blood spurting violence as entertainment), but while his one-liners don't come close to topping his classics, at times the movie's comedy injections come over pretty goofy.
For high speed chases, intense gun battles and skull cracking hand-to-hand fighting, The Last Stand does deliver enough excitement as in many ways it pays homage to classic Western themes.
Schwarzenegger's Austrian accent seems to have gotten even stronger in his old age, and as always, he is not portrayed as an immigrant but an American, no-one questioning his Euro-slur. In fact, the movie is loaded with accents, including the lead villain's Mexican phonetics and the Swedish dialect interference of Coen bros. alumni Stormare.
While the Governator is also looking long in the tooth, and seems like he is need of a few knee and / or hip replacements when walking (let alone running), that doesn't matter – because it Arnie gaddammit! (and we can forgive him for being a Republican).
3 / B
|6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temp.
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished
2013 - Flamedrop