MOVIE REVIEW: The Last Stand

Film: The Last Stand
Director: Kim Ji-woon
Writer: Andrew Knauer
Studio: di Bonaventura Pictures

Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger? No, not the Governor of California, I mean the real Arnold. The one that kicked a lot of ass and blew tons of stuff up. The Arnold that shot a helicopter through a building with a missile that had a guy on it after saying “You’re fired.”. The Arnold that travelled in time as a robot to kill (and then to save) the human race. That Arnold Schwarzenegger. Well guess what? He’s back.

The Last Stand has old sheriff Schwarzenegger taking care of a rural Arizona town on the border of Mexico. Very soon everything starts to get crazy when an escaped cartel boss steals a super fast car in Las Vegas and plans to head to the border with Arnold’s town right in the path. It’s up to Arnold to get his inexperienced deputies ready for the battle in time to stop the drug lord and come up with some great one liners for all the cartel dirtbags that are bound to die.

The biggest draw of The Last Stand is its cast. This film has a lot of big names other than Schwarzenegger. It has Johnny Knoxville playing a small town gun nut, Luis Guzman as a deputy, Forest Whitaker as an FBI agent and Peter Stormare as one of the bad guys. A lot of these actors are playing types they are well known for (especially Guzman and Stomare) and it enhances the movie perfectly. The elephant in the room, however, is Arnold and he plays his role like he never took a break from acting to pursue politics. His action sequences are executed with precision and drama. You never feel like he is just an old man clinging to his glory days to get a paycheck (I’m looking at you The Expendables 2).

As an action movie The Last Stand succeeds at bringing the car chases, explosions, shootouts, and fist fights. The escaped cartel boss is driving a supercar across the desert while the FBI are trying to take him down so there are plenty of good car chase scenes. The standoff in the town later in the film has more bullets than a war zone so those craving some stylized gun play will be plenty satisfied. There is even a fist fight that turns in to a MMA style brawl that has Arnold  looking like an Austrian Brock Lesnar.

The Last Stand is not going to be winning any awards or going down as a beloved movie for the rest of time but it is a very fitting return for a legendary action star. It has plenty of violence, some great one liners, and there is even an attractive girl or two. This film breaks the notion that all January releases are total garbage and really is worth your time and money. Action fans rejoice, our accented giant has returned to kick some ass and kill some bad guys!

Review written by: Justin Proper

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