Much like the sheriff in The
Last Stand, Arnold Schwarzenegger is out to prove he isn't too old to kick
ass and take names. After his
stint as The Governator and as a cameo in a handful of films, it is unclear
just how successful his film comeback would be. An old school '80s style action
flick seemed to be just the right project he needed in order to transition back
into film. The Last Stand is fun, extremely violent, and incredibly dumb. In
other words everything you'd expect it to be.
Schwarzenegger plays an aging small town sheriff who is
content simply dealing with the local drunks and sending his deputies to check
in on the milkman. When a high
profile cartel leader (Eduardo Noriega) escapes a heavily armed FBI caravan,
the agent in charge (Forest Whitaker) is determined to stop him from hightailing
it to the border in a turbo charged concept car. The only barrier between the drug dealer and freedom is
Ahnuld and his band of inexperienced deputies. It's a simple setup that ultimately leads to what everyone
wants to see: guns, violence, and copious amounts of blood.
In his English language directorial debut Kim Jee-woon (The Good, The Bad, The Weird and I Saw the Devil) brings his signature
awkward action/humor hybrid complete with insane characters and strange tonal
shifts. He shoots each action set
piece with a well calculated intensity that makes heavy use of practical
effects that really sells the throwback nature of the film. You'll see car chases, gun battles,
explosions, and one really badass fistfight that pushes old Arnie to his limits.
If you were worried about how Arnold would hold up in the
action scenes, fear not as he is more than up for the task and typically
outshines his younger costars with some impressive stunt work. What's more worrisome is how wooden and
out of shape his acting feels.
When he's not shooting a gun, it's borderline painful to watch some of
the dialogue. I'm not sure if
that's just the shakes of returning to acting or the horribly limp script that
features no real characters and a fairly lame plot. In general, the actors aren't acting so much as simply
playing themselves; none of them have much room to truly perform, and there's a
reason I've failed to mention any of their names. The Last Stand isn't a great film and like many '80s action flicks
it's light on common sense but heavy on entertaining action. If you're someone eagerly anticipating
Arnold's glorious return, you'll be more than satisfied.