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I grew up watching Arnold, I own every film of his, I am what you would
call a serious Schwarzenegger fan. I have waited a decade for his
return to the cinema, and I wasn't disappointed. The Last Stand isn't
perfect, but Arnold fans can rejoice, for he truly is back!!
The premise (for those that haven't watched the trailer a dozen times like me) is a Mexican cartel boss (Eduardo Noriega) has escaped custody during transport and is heading to the Mexican border, and he is going to get there by going through the sleepy town of Sommerton, Arizona. Arnold is the Sheriff in this sleepy little town, and he is the FBI's last hope at stopping the ruthless gangster.
This movie is full of intense, bloody action, exciting car chases (thanks to a supped up Corvette ZR1 with over one thousand horsepower!) and funny one liner's. The film never takes itself too serious (which is good thing) and is surprisingly funny throughout. Arnold's acting is a little rusty, but he more than made up for it in the action scenes. And the (many) action sequences were exciting and bloody, the theater kept cheering out loud. The pacing was perfect, the film flew by.
The cast was great...Luis Guzman is hilarious as Arnold's Deputy, Forest Whitaker as the lead FBI agent, Peter Stormare as the maniacal "right hand man" villain, Johnny Knoxville as the town clown, Harry Dean Stanton as the crotchety old farmer, the list goes on...
The film was everything I wanted from an Arnold movie, it's fun(!), full of fast paced action and lots of (funny) one liner's. The non-Arnold fan probably won't get much from this, but this movie was made for Arnold fans, and it delivers.
This is pure guilty-pleasure cinema. You know you can't defend seeing
lots of nameless guys in black suits and machine guns mowing down
people and that there's only a bullet here or there that might get one
of our good guys (and I mean, y'know, Luis Guzman, who is always fun to
watch in that very familiar character-actor way by the way, same for
Harry Dean Stanton's walk-on), and it hearkens back to that time in the
1980's and 90's when Arnold Schwarzenegger dominated cineplexes with
this kind of action trash. But over time, as super glossy and
hyper-kinetic and chaotically-shot cinema floods theaters, this almost
comes as something of a refreshment. How do I simply say "I got
thrilled by the action, laughed at the craziness in the set-pieces, and
loved seeing Arnold tear it up and have one-line retorts: "How do you
feel?" asks a towns-person - "OLD!")
But aside from the story, which seems to be fairly cookie-cutter with the Mexican cartel kingpin who is getting across from Nevada down to the border to get back to his safe land, and with various tropes that can be read from not too far away (given some heft by the fact that Eduardo Noriega cuts a very sharp figure as a madman with a zest for stunt- driving - like a character one might find almost in Rodriguez/Tarantino's Grindhouse, or a hybrid of such characters they write), what is there? How about that the director, Kim Jee-Woon, has a track record from back in South Korea as being a hardcore, awe-inspiring action and genre director, who can make them very, very intense and harrowing (I Saw the Devil), or truly spooky and harrowing in a quieter, more sinister way (Tale of Two Sisters). But what got him the job, I suspect, was The Good, the Bad and the Weird, his wild homage to everything Western - Spaghetti, yes, but good ol' American variety. He must have read the script and said 'I can do this, this is a Western to the bone just in 21st century garb... matter of fact, it's Rio Bravo on steroids!'
Well, that's my suspicion anyway. Think about it - a Sheriff in a ponam town with not many residents at all (and those that do stick around all day won't leave cause of some gunfire - there's a cheese omelette cooking after all at the diner), and has some good deputies, and some others he has to recruit not by his better judgment but by lack of other good officers, and has a Big Bad Motherflipper coming right his way. "I've seen a lot of blood and death. I know what's coming," says the not-quite quipping Arnold. And the first half does build, somewhat decently if predictably, the pieces of the characters, the basic set-ups of who may die (or will) and what betrayals are happening and who knows what (and what, really, Forest Whitaker can do as the Man in Charge in the suit - powerful, but he's not a Schwarzenegger).
It's the second half of the film, as the preparations intensify and then the big attack comes to Sommerton Junction (even the name is out of a Sam Fuller western or something) that the film REALLY picks up steam. And by steam, I mean lots and lots of bullets, sometimes from huge guns that fire way too many bullets. What helps in Jee-Woon's favor in The Last Stand is how he takes the fantasy of all of this to such a degree that you (or I really) can't help but admire how high it ends up going. It will please hardcore action fans, but unlike the only other recent Schwarzenegger films (so to speak) of the Expendables franchise, it doesn't really insult your intelligence either. The villains on display in this flick are not pushovers, and it leads to some impressive action from the performers, from the cameramen, from the bullets themselves which become their own actors. And the final chase through a cornfield, just when you think the film has nothing else to give you, comes back for a surprise set-piece that feels fresh and inventive; we haven't seen something quite like this where it's a cat and mouse chase through such a big space of land, but we know it is just a matter of seconds.
If you've grown up on Schwarzenegger flicks, it's like visiting the old(er) man at the condo, and jogging his memory full-throttle. I don't know if this is just a brief pop-up appearance for the (how do I write this without laughing but he is) veteran action icon, or a third and final career trajectory after years as a bodybuilder/up-and-comer, and superstar. But for now, it'll do, Johnny Knoxville's rambunctious comic-timing not withstanding.
Let me start by saying this is a straight-up good guys vs. bad guys, shoot 'em up action movie. Would you expect anything less from Ahhnold? I'll say that I was happy to hear Arnold was returning to the big screen for starring roles once his Governorship was over. I've been a die hard Arnold fan since I was 6. Sure he's a senior citizen now...but he's ARNOLD! The trailers for this movie don't really hide anything, it's presented exactly how it is. It's an action movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. The movie does try and have these heartfelt moments which come off more as cheesy than anything else. But I will give the movie props for actually trying to develop its characters to the point they're not just cardboard cut outs. They have personality and emotions so you actually care if they live or die. Which is more than I can say for most movies of this type. Unfortunately the movie seemed to be relying heavily on Arnold's return to the big screen to put butts in the theatre seats. The movie only made $6 million on its opening weekend. Making it the bottom of the barrel at the box office. However I went and saw it on a Tuesday night at 7pm and the theatre was packed. So perhaps word is travelling that it's a fun movie and it'll be able to make some money back. Not that I'm crying for Arnold's bank account but it's a shame when a good movie doesn't do well.
Just got back from seeing the last stand, overall a great action movie that action fans as well as schwarzenegger fans will like. Those of you expecting to see academy award winning performances or great story telling should probably avoid this. This is a straight up action movie filled with unapologetic violence, the way it should be. The movie starts off a little slow but once the action picks up it never lets go. Arnold may be looking his age a little bit but that doesn't slow him down at all. Johnny knoxville is also good as the comedy sidekick and he has his moments to shine, him and arnold are definitely an odd couple. Welcome back arnold, here's to more great action movies from an action legend! Looking forward to seeing the tomb next! Schwarzenegger and stallone=EPIC!!!
After brief cameos in films like the Rundown and Expendables, we
finally got a glimpse of a possible return to form for Arnold
Schwarzenegger. Finally his first full length solo action film is here
with The Last Stand. As if this wasn't exciting enough, add to the mix
I Saw The Devil director Jee-woon Kim at the helm, it has the makings
of a great comeback.
The Last Stand follows a former LAPD detective who is now the sheriff of a small quiet town and enjoying the peaceful life. When a notorious drug kingpin escapes FBI custody in a supped up corvette the only thing standing between him and the border is this small town and the sheriff who has vowed to protect it. The story here is pretty simple and in anyone else's hands would have probably been a throw away film. Thankfully Jee-woon Kim brings his signature dynamic style taking this film to a much more entertaining visual level. If there was any concern with Arnold being able to live up to his famous line "I'll be back" being accurate you can relax because he is back in a big way. This film takes a bit of a step back and moves a bit slowly at first letting the story build a bit instead of just flooding it with action. When the smaller action pieces, if you can call any of them that, do occur they are pretty high octane and fun to watch. All this builds up to a full on blood bath ensuing old west action show down featuring all the explosions, guns, blood and fun you could want in an Arnold film. Make no mistake this is a popcorn action film that hearkens back to the old school action films of the 80's and 90's when they delivered. The cast is great and each delivers a fun performance featuring Johnny Knoxville who while brief brings some of the funniest moments, Luis Guzman who is right there holding his own, Forest Whitaker, and Peter Stormare. Arnold still delivers his cheesy one-liners like a pro, but has moved on from the usual ones that were starting to run their course. His years in office clearly have made him a better speaker, hence a better actor.
Arnold may not be as fast or agile as he once was, but he still manages to show he can hold his own with the best of them. This film not only gets Arnold back where he belongs on the big screen it also kicks off a movie year that almost feels like the old days of action again with numerous franchise and action icons bringing the pain in 2013. Arnold has always said he would be back and he is better than ever. If you were ever an Arnold fan, then get ready for a film that will spark the visual crazy fun that's been missing in this genre for a long time.
As a fan of both star ( Arnold Scwarzenegger ) and director( Kim Jee Woon ) I am satisfied with this film. The Last Stand is the US director debut of Kim Jee Woon as well as the first Scwarzenegger non cameo role since T3. The film is real good actually as it looks great, fast paced with a good amount of bloody action . The tone is serious enough but still has a good amount of tongue in cheek humor and the usual Arnie one liners. Arnold plays a sheriff in a small southwestern town and defends said town against an army of drug runners looking to escort their escaped drug kingpin back to Mexico.Good support cast with Forest Whitaker and Luis Guzman.Johnny Knoxville's screen time is minimal thankfully and doesn't ruin the film . I found The Last Stand to be a very enjoyable action flick as well as the best movie Arnold made in a long time. I hope the film does well as it is a good film and strong comeback for Arnie as well as great US debut for Kim Jee Woon.
A lot of my favourite films growing up and to this day are some of
Arnold's Classics like T2, Predator and countless others. Although not
one of his best, The Last Stand is one of Schwarzeneggers better films
and perfect for him to do what he does best - shoot bad guys and crack
one liners. This film is a quality made action film that contains some
innovative stuff blending old school car chases, blazing gunfights and
an intriguing yet simple story in a solid modern action movie. Other
than the action,the film blends comedy very nicely. The whole theatre
was cracking up especially at the characters of Johnny Knoxville and
Luiz Guzman. The movie overall is a solid, fun and entertaining film
that keeps the momentum going to the final climax which is sure not to
disappoint. If that sounds appealing to you, Check it out and you'll be
sure to enjoy.
Overall: Solid 7/10
This is it Arnold Fans our long wait is finally over. Our favorite
action hero is BACK! But after being out of the spotlight in a leading
role for over a decade, (as fun as Expendables 2 was, it doesn't count)
is Arnold really returning to the silver screen with the same flair for
action and entertainment that he used to? Read on to find out!
Schwarzenegger plays Ray Owens, a former LAPD Narcotics Agent who left the big city excitement after a bad incident to become the sheriff of the sleepy New Mexico border town of Summerton Junction. Summerton is a town where nothing exciting happens, except for the occasional drunk and disorderly, or petty theft arrest, but this sleepy town is about to get a rude awakening. A notorious drug lord Gabriel Cortez, portrayed by Eduardo Noriega, escapes from FBI custody and starts making his way towards the Mexican border at 250 mph in a stolen, custom Corvette ZR1. Its faster then any chopper. Cortez also has an FBI agent hostage in tow as he dodges police barricades and evades helicopters, usually with very bloody aftermath.
The FBI task force leader Agent Bannister, played by Forest Whitaker, thinks it's a slim chance that Cortez will pass through Summerton, but Arnold's character knows something isn't right. Immediately suspicious of some visitors (one being played by the amazing Peter Stormare), the Sheriff knows they clearly don't belong there.
In his recent autobiography, our favorite action hero describes his part in Last Stand as "a great, great role." "The sheriff knows if he succeeds," he writes, "it will mean everything to the town. His reputation is on the line. Is he really over the hill or can he do it?"
With 'Last Stand,' Arnold has his own reputation to re-solidify as leading man. Again, the Megastar and Governor of California hasn't anchored a movie since 2003′s 'Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines', and at 65, some worried that he's past his prime as an action hero. Is Arnold over the hill or can he still do it?
From this Arnold fans perspective, the answer is, "Hell Yes!" The action looks great; the acting gets better and better as the film runs, and there are a few gruesome kills that will make any gore fan happy!
The screenplay by Andrew Knauer doesn't give Arnold as many of his signature one- liners. Many of them, such as "How are you, Sheriff?" to which he replies "Old!", was already given away in the trailer. But don't worry, there are a few more hidden gems.
Arnold and his team, who consist of the moody veteran played by Luis Guzman, the rookie cop played by Zach Gilford, the beautiful but skilled deputy played by Jaimie Alexander, her screw-up ex boyfriend (who is stuck in the towns single jail cell) played by Rodrigo Santoro, and of course, the crazy, eccentric goof-ball, who happens to own a small museum of artillery, played by Johnny Knoxville, ban together to become the 'Last Stand' between Cortez and freedom.
The shootouts are all high tension, and there is plenty of high octane car chases for you Fast and Furious fans, plus there are some amazing visuals as well. Kim Ji-Woons entry into US theaters keeps his edgy style engraved within the heart of the picture, and is just as much fun as 'The Good, The Bad, and the Weird', yet still manages to capture traditional Hollywood flair.
There is one thing about this picture that I want to warn you about, it takes a little while to really get going. It's a large cast, so each one needs a bit of an introduction and story to make you care, so I understand. But the great juicy Arnold action starts little more then half way in. And at times, I felt myself wishing there was just a LITTLE more Arnold. But all in all it's not a huge deal. Our Hero still steals the show here, as he should.
Overall, I really liked this film. I cheered, I winced, I threw popcorn in excitement! Is it as good as, say... Terminator? Of course not, but it's on par with, if not better then, the likes of Eraser or Collateral Damage! And I really liked Eraser.
Arnold is Back! With this being his first entry into cinemas in a long while, and it turning out so well, I'm now very excited for his next pictures 'The Tomb', 'TEN', and of course 'Legend of Conan'! Get your ass to the Theaters!
8 out of 10 stogies
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I know that Arnold is ARNOLD, and that is what made me spend a Saturday evening on this movie. But I was greatly disappointed. Having actors like Whitaker, Guzmán, Stanton (a pleasant surprise), and others in the cast did not compensate for a hail storm of clichés, predictable events, and seen-before action scenes. From the initial small-town-feel-good build-up, over bad-guy-kills-innocent-man, over bad-guy-gets-spectacularly-sprung, over over-powered-car-is-cool-yeah, over dumb-cops-loose-track-of-car, over FBI-officers-behave-arrogantly, over small-town-cops-decide-to-make-a-stand, over pretty-lady-cop-is-a-crook, over you-earned-the-deputy-star, to the final that-is-what-happens-when-you-park-in-a-fire-zone comment, nothing surprises the viewer. Suffering from a nearly non-existing plot, this movie was clearly designed to maximize profits by addressing the 12-18 year old male viewer. I sincerely do not hope that this was Arnold's farewell movie - his exit should be a better one that this movie. Really!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's been ten years since Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken the lead role
in a movie, and many people were hesitant about his return to lead "The
Last Stand." Honestly, I had good faith that if this were a bad movie,
then it would at least be a fun one to watch. But this film was fairly
With racing cars and thrilling action scenes, the movie features Arnold Schwarzenegger as he is tasked with going after a group of gang members lead by a drug lord. All in all, it's agreeable that there were a couple of faults, and a couple of scenes where that may have been silly and awkward. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger's acting was a bit bad at times. But it's fun to watch. It's full of action, gunfire, and shoot outs. The action is nonstop, and there many explosions as well. Any trailer for this movie should pull you right in to watch it. But the real thing that strained down on people the whole time was most likely the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger was finally back and taking the lead again. And we can all agree that that's one thing we were all looking forward to.
So "The Last Stand" is a good action movie. I would certainly recommend seeing it.
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