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Okay folks, this movie is what's called a spoof, send-up, parody, satire, or
all of the above. If you were expecting a serious action movie, well
DUHHHH!! No wonder you hated it!
I happen to think that it is real clever that Arnold was willing to spoof the genre that he had been trapped in for most of his life. So few actors are willing to do that, even in a bit of fun. Acting is a job, but it's supposed to be fun as well. Not every movie we see is meant to win an oscar. They are just entertainment. Take it for what it's intended.
This movie is on my top five of my favorite Arnold films, because of it's boldness, and the fact that Arnold can be really funny when he wants to be. It's on my top twenty favorite comedy movies, and it's also in my DVD collection. Don't worry Arnold. Your true fans love this movie.
After a string of predictable cookie cutter script action flicks that
money from Arnie's muscles and persona, one studio decided to take a
and try a Hollywood self-mocking film starring the big guy. It had a story
line that actually made one think and pay attention in order to appreciate
the paradoxes arising from its premise.( A fun side effect is that its
within a movie allowed for some more over-the-top stunts and tough guy
scenes than even the simplest knuckle dragging mouth breathing 'action'
fans would normally sit for) Scenes with recognized characters drawn from
recent popular films were played tongue in cheek and while the story
proceeded on a couple of levels there were enough innuendos and amusing
elements in the background to keep the viewer's appreciative attention.
result of this comparatively well polished gamble was the sort of
reflected by the vote results in this IMDB poll. A surprizing number of
viewers don't like it.
Maybe the studios waited too long to try a movie like this with Arnold. It is possible that the market segment that would appreciate a film like this had already dismissed Arnie as the Commando/Raw Deal lout and dismissed the film unseen, while the usual shoot'em punch'em fans found their brains hurting too much from trying to follow a real story.
One thing is sure, the studios are watching and you can bet they won't make that mistake again. Get ready for more movies that play to the lowest common denominator and are written so the dullest gonk in the movie house can still comprehend the plot. Red Sonja, Judge Dredd, The Running Man, here they come.
Highly underrated Arnie movie.
Is it a comedy? An action movie? A spoof of the entire action movie genre? Well, it might be all of them, and more.
This movie could be interpreted in several ways. In it, Arnold is spoofing himself (or his on-screen persona, anyway) and the genre of action movies in general.
What's more, it's a story within a story, making an audience member part of the story, giving the whole thing a post-modern twist. The movie is full of genre in-jokes and self-references, making fun of many of the clichés - while at the same time referring to other films, actors, and even other genres, making this sort of a celebration of the entire film business.
On the other hand - in case you don't care about all of this - as an action movie in itself, it's still very entertaining. If you like Schwarzenegger action movies, you'll like this one as well.
Don't let anyone tell you this is a "bad movie". See it for yourself, and make up your own mind.
Another underrated movie, and one which few people understand, or try to. This is a spoof of action movies, primarily those starring Arnie and Stallone, ones which director McTiernen has made a living from. That said, the action, stunts, effects are good, the cast, especially Arnie, ham it up as much as possible, and the plot is pretty clever. Tons of in-jokes make this an entertaining film, and I'll admit that's all it is. But that's all it is trying to be. Don't whine to me about artistic merit, character development, internal meditations on life and all that crap-I have those movies on my list too. It's an action movie, where the bad guys are supposed to die, cars are meant to explode when scratched, the good guy is untouchable, and it knows it. 8 out of 10
We all have that one movie we absolutely love but of which no one else
seems to think very highly. My 10/10 rating for LAST ACTION HERO
signals that this is mine. But before you laugh me out of IMDb, allow
me to explain why I think this notorious bomb is in actuality an
The central highlight of LAST ACTION HERO is the plot. I've seen this film three times, and in each instance I've been completely drawn into the notion that there exists a magical Movieland where we too could travel if only we had a magic ticket. It's sort of every film buff's fantasy, one that we get to enjoy through young Danny Madigan(Austin O'Brien) as he meets up with clichéd action hero Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course). It's priceless to see the real-world youth interact with the silver screen community and its cartoon cats, 555 phone numbers, and impossibly perfect women. It's equally entertaining when Slater comes into our world, discovering that he can't effortlessly smash his fist through a vehicle window or blow up his enemies with ease. Love it or hate it, you have to admit the story gets high marks for originality.
The writing is another highpoint, convincingly mixing so many great elements. Those behind the script nicely exploited the vast potential within the storyline. LAST ACTION HERO is on the one hand a satire of so many action films in which the likes of Schwarzenegger have straightfacedly starred. The oft-sequelized Slater chomps a cigar and wields bullets like confetti at a wedding, effortlessly taking out the bad guys and spewing witty quips. At another angle, the movie is a lighthearted romp, with one-liners and plenty of pokes at Hollywood. From another viewpoint, it's a dramatic piece, with Danny struggling to make it through an awkward age and Slater coming to grips with his unreeled existence -- and that in the real world, the bad guys can and do win. Nowhere along the line is it Oscar-caliber stuff, but it is entertaining.
There are other things to like about LAST ACTION HERO. The action is well-paced and well-placed. The acting is more than up to par, with O'Brien and Schwarzenegger great individually and as a tandem. The humor is sharp and effective, with Arnie often hilarious in his self-deprecating ways.
Perhaps much of the negative criticism directed LAST ACTION HERO came from those who didn't understand what it was trying to do. This was never meant to be another one of Arnie's shoot-'em-ups, lame attempts at comedy or even a family film. It was just meant to be fun to watch. And that's what matters most in any film. There are things about the film that don't work, but there are things about THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE that don't work, either. All that really matters is, Are we entertained? On that note, LAST ACTION HERO delivers.
What can I say? A lot of people looked at this as a cheap Arnold action movie, and while it's not a great film it's certainly a good one with a very good concept. The intentional continuity errors are funny and clever, the movie cliche's are great. So what if it's a little cheesy and Arnold is the only decent actor? Enjoy the conflict of reality and fiction, and see this movie because it's a fun and somewhat thoughtful flick.
LAST ACTION HERO went down in the books as a notorious, hopeless bomb, putting it in the same company as films like HUDSON HAWK, BATTLEFIELD EARTH, and GIGLI. And although it was a huge financial dissapointment back in 1993, this film stands head and shoulders above those other stinkers, and has certainly found an appreciative audience over time. Perhaps it wouldn't have earned such awful word-of-mouth had it not been advertised and released as a straightforward action film. No doubt 1993 audiences were expecting a TERMINATOR- or TRUE LIES-style adventure. Instead, LAST ACTION HERO is fairly misleading, and it shifts tones pretty dramatically, from a free-wheeling action adventure, to something much more dramatic, set in the "real world", and back and forth again. This can be quite jarring upon a first viewing, and certainly unappealing for anybody who doesn't enjoy Hollywood satire. Eleven years later, the American public is a little more film-industry-savvy (its seems like every Mom and Pop follows the salary rumors and box office races these days), and may appreciate the insider jokes a little more. If you prepare yourself for a cheeky spoof- and DONT expect TOTAL RECALL!- you'll definitely find LAST ACTION HERO better than you remember.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am totally amazed that most of the so-called "expert" film critics at
the time didn't seem to have a clue what this movie was doing. It is
positively one of the tightest, most brilliant, sly, wickedly satirical
action movie spoofs of all time. I am also rather amazed that Arnie
actually agreed to this one; it's almost like he's biting the hand that
The biggest clue of this movie is in the opening shot, when the whole picture wipes into frame in the shape of a "movie" screen (hint, hint!) From then on, anyone with any experience at watching blockbuster action movies at all should have picked up how the scene was taking the standard setup-action pieces of the time, and then pushing them a little bit further than normal; so that they become an obvious (to most people) parody of the situation. The close-up of the feet as Jack exits from the car is just a little closer and off-angle than normal. The ranting chief yelling at the hero that he's gonna get fired if he disobeys orders is just a little bit more heated that the standard action movie would do it. Come ON people, couldn't you get the tongue-in-cheek nature of this?
Then we fuzz out and see the "real" story - introducing Danny, our viewer's representative (played by a very adorable and very chatty Austin O'Brien). The one scene I dislike in this movie is the actual "real-life" robbery scene at Danny's home, which comes across as a little too bleak and depressing; even though it does set up the thematic contrasts in the story very well. On the other hand, one of my all-time favorite scenes is when Danny is in school watching the Olivier version of "Hamlet"; and he starts to drift and re-imagines the story in a modern action style. (Gee, if I had a penny for every time I've done that with a pretentious old film - well, anyway...)
Of course the two outstanding highlights of this movie are the police station/video store scenes in the Jack Slater movie; and the climactic show-down at the big premiere, especially when the action hero confronts the movie star: "You have caused me a lot of pain. I don't like you very much." (Y'know, I've often felt that is movie characters could come alive, some actors would have great reason to worry. Just a thought.)
All I can say is, if you can't get this, you don't really deserve to be watching movies, or even let out to the cinema. It's too complicated for you! Just go back to your padded cell, and vegetate.
Best lines: "Mom, you're turning him into a wimp!"; "This has got to work. I'm going to win. Wait a minute; I'm the comic relief. I'm NOT going to win. Ahhhhh!"; "You go through all this pain and suffering, only to find it's all the product of someone's sick imagination, for public entertainment!" [-probably not a precise quote, but you get the gist of it]
Last Action Hero may well have arrived DOA due to Dan Cortese's lame as
could be tagline for Burger King " I got my ticket, now I'm Going To See The
Aside from that unsuccesful cross promotion, there is little in this film that actually is not as it was intended to be. That is, funny, over the top and full of explosions! I am a fan of self depricating humor and a fan of Arnold, so this movie hit the spot for me.
The cast is all good too, with the obvious exception of the homely kid who plays opposite The Schwarz. Recomended for fans of TV action shows and for those who appreciate Arnold's experimental comedy films. I liked this well enough to take the time to recommend it, if that helps.
By the way, I didn't bother to summarize, because this not that kind of movie. Just watch it and you'll realize the reason people like it, and it has nothing to do with the plot.
but I actually liked it, and I'm not particularly an Arnie fan (he's
not a very good actor and he's a terrible governor). Some of his movies
are pretty good, some are pretty lousy, but this one isn't, IMO,
anywhere near as bad as its reputation. I happen to think it's a lot of
fun. Sure it's cartoonish, but ARNIE is cartoonish! That's what makes
this movie so much fun; all of his movies--in fact, all action movies
in general--are not much more than live-action cartoons, and this movie
gleefully makes fun of them in general, and Arnie in particular, and
the best part of it is that he's in on the joke. I don't know why it
was savaged so much when it was first released; it really didn't
deserve it. Several of his later movies ("Eraser" and "End of Days",
for example) were far more deserving of that kind of treatment than
this one is.
Anyway, I just like this movie. The action scenes were exciting, there were some very funny lines and a ton of clever in-jokes, some great cameos, and it was just an all-around fun flick. Try it, you'll like it.
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