The Last Stand

The_Last_Stand

Arnold Scwarzenegger rides again.

“He’s back” with a ton of firepower, mowing down bad guys and tossing out a clever quip or two. But just like the majority of his films of the 80s, if you want to enjoy this, you have to be ready to turn the critical functions of your brain off and just enjoy some cheese.

A wealthy cartel figure escapes custody in Las Vegas and wants to hightail it south over the Mexican border. After escaping, he and his hostage get in a Corvette ZR1 and start speeding south. He’s sent his gang (led by Peter Stormare) ahead to a border town in order to build an assault bridge so he can cross a ravine and get out of the States, but what they don’t know is that the sleepy little town is guarded by Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) and his men.

I’m going to spare you the plot intricacies, because I don’t want anyone to hurt themselves trying to figure out how any of it makes sense. This film is full of things like “So wait, he can get an industrial strength crane and an electromagnet to that roof, but not a helicopter?” and “The FBI agent initially called THE SHERIFF for help, why wouldn’t he believe him now?”. All of the citizens of the one horse town are conveniently off at a football game, the mayor leaves behind a car capable of chasing the Z1, and the one prisoner they have locked up in the town jail (Rodrigo Santoro) is ex-military with a heart of gold… the perfect reserve. You get the idea.

Yeah, as far as I’m concerned this movie intentionally created so many logic gaps and whatnot so that you would tire of counting them and get the message that you’re not supposed to think during this movie. The point of no return came for me when the fleeing fugitive intentionally spun his ‘Vette so that a pursuing SUV would drive up on its hood and flip itself over. All of this at about 100 MPH. At that point, I just surrendered and didn’t ask anymore questions, obviously this was a realm where logic and physics didn’t exist as we knew them.

But what this film does offer is a star we all love, back in his element, shooting a bunch of shit up. They acknowledge Ahnuld’s advancing age sufficiently, surround him with comic relief in the form of Luis Guzmán and Johnny Knoxville, and give him a couple of worthy fire fights before the final showdown. Forest Whitaker plays the FBI agent in charge of re-apprehending the fugitive, who alternately enlists and rejects the Sheriff’s help. Together they serve up a B movie smorgasbord of characters and clichés that keeps the tone fun and light (which it would need to be to support the shaky, thin script).

It’s good to see Arnold doing what he does though, no matter how old. I actually wish they could give him a really good aging action hero role. This is the type of high concept that would work, but the details would need to be hammered out, not cast aside. As it “Stands” though, “The Last Stand” is enjoyable enough if you’re a fan of The Governator, and willing to suspend your cerebral functions for a couple of hours.

B

Daniel Fogarty

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62 thoughts on “The Last Stand

  1. I enjoyed it the way one should always enjoy this sort of stuff. Turn your brain off and watch the entertaining and ridiculous stuff up on the screen. Arnold was actually pretty good in this, not only playing it a bit older, but being less Arnoldy. The supporting cast was good as well but it is really about the style of the action scenes and the humor in the delivery. A solid piece of hoey to enjoy and then forget.

    • Well put. Although I was a little surprised at exactly how far I had to shut my brain off, I still had fun with it for the most part.

      They played the issue of Arnold’s age well, I thought. Cleared the way for me to enjoy watching him do the things he was called on to do! :D

  2. An enjoyable romp. Glad to see Arnold back! Oh, and I agree about exploring this age angle more thoroughly in another film, I think something interesting could develop out of it.

    • Well, I mean, he’s back now, so we’re going to get a lot of it I bet (given that the new films enjoy reasonable success at the BO). He’s got “The Tomb” coming out later this year, too. So… As far as I can tell, he’s just making movies full time again. And if they’re going to be action movies, they’ll have to work around the age thing somehow…

  3. You’re expecting logic from this movie Fogs?? Ahah! I actually didn’t mind the silliness, I mean it’s sort of expected. It was a ton of fun and I’m not even a huge fan of Arnie. Luis Guzmán is da bomb, love him!

    • LOL, well, I mean, I don’t know that I was expecting anything good or anything… But I will admit to being surprised how fast and loose they played things. “Silliness” is right.

      I don’t know that I’d go with “Tons of Fun”, but I definitely did enjoy it too. ;)

  4. I like Luis Guzmán too. Hopefully Guzmán’s performance in this will erase what happened with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. That was an abomination. LOL

    • Can anything “erase what happened with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”? LOL If so, sign me up!

      Anyways, as sucky as it is, it seems as if that’s where Guzmans career is at now, fat comic relief. There’s a touch of sadness to that. :(

  5. It’s a bunch of stupid, mindless fun that’s only to be watched if you know what you’re getting yourself into. Not just with Arnie, but the whole-product in general. Good review Fogs.

  6. You get the feeling that there are some really interesting back stories that are hinted at once and then forever ignored. It is just a glimps into peoples lives. The movie covers roughly one day of time.

    In the crane scene, I was annoyed with the fact that everyone kept shooting the person standing on top of the magnet but no one thought about the fact that it you went after the crane operater in the crane’s control cab. Sure, there were other issues, but that one really threw me out of the suspension of disbelief.

    Forest Whitaker did a good job with a part that was really not written well. Most everything the character did came off as being wrong. Except when he ordered the financial checks on everyone involved with the transfer.

    I liked the movie. It was a great diversion for a Saturday morning. I wouldn’t go pay full price for it. But it was FUN. That is usually what one is looking for when going to a Schwartzenegger film.

    I liked the fact that the final fight was choreographed around wrestling moves that would give Arnold, with his size and muscle mass, the advantage over smaller, faster, and more hot headed opposition while keeping in mind that he isn’t in the shape and condition he once was.

    As his first full movie after a very long break, I wasn’t expecting greatness. I figure he might need a film or two to get back into movie form. Having grown up on Schwartenegger movies, I’m more than willing to give him that leeway.

    I have to admit, the thing that may have surprised me the most was how long it took to get used to someone with his heavy, Austrian accent representing the idea of small town America and the protection of Americans. We didn’t think twice about it back in the day. We were so used to it. Of course, the line about giving imigrants a bad name was pretty funny.

    • In the crane scene, I was annoyed by a ton of things. LOL. How did they know where the motorcade would stop exactly. How did they get the crane on to that roof? Where was it once they got up there (I dont think we ever actually saw it)

      As far as Whitaker goes, I just kept wondering if he needs a new agent or something. The guy has an Oscar for godssakes! Lets get him a real part!

      Im willing to give Arnie a few warm up flicks, too. LOL. I guess I’ll always be a sucker for him onscreen, regardless. But I hope his comeback eventually offers us better than this!

  7. That’s pretty much what I was expecting this movie to be… cheesy, silly, and having a 1980s feel to it. Really, that’s all that Arnold has ever done well, and that’s all we can really ask from him.

  8. After watching the Running Man and Predator in the last couple of weeks, I can’t wait to check this out. This film does not happen to co-star Jesse Ventura does it?

      • Sometimes people set their expectations too high. For something like this, I reckon as long as you know roughly what to expect and have some fun with it, then its all good!

        Cheers – I cant take credit, a very nice man did the designing for me, got some other goodies coming soon too, and will be posting my thanks! Appreciate the kind words though, the man has created some great things for me! :)

  9. Totally agree. It was just a lot of fun. The scene with the flare gun had the entire audience clapping. Still don’t like Peter Stormare. Also I think the setting for the town may have been the one used in Thor. Definitely good cheese.

      • Also, the female Federal Agent was played by Genesis Rodriguez who was the female lead in “Casa de mi Padre”. Plus, the Royal Purple truck was a product placement in both “The Last Stand” and “Broken City”.

  10. Lol, Smorgasbord of cliches, tru dat. I think Whittaker was almost too cliche for me at times, and the cartel boss was nothing short of silly. Oh well, they can’t all be Die Hard or Rambo I suppose, and this’ll more than do for now :)

    • Exactly. And Whitaker’s character was almost PURE cliche. LOL Especially in the part when he disbelieved Arnold’s info for no good reson whatsoever. I couldnt believe how steroetypical that was! LOL

  11. Pingback: The Last Stand Review: AMERICA!!!! (F*ck Yeah) | Rorschach Reviews

  12. Me had fun with this one. Granted, it has no chance of making my top 10 of the year list but it was fun, fun, fun. And Johnny Knoxville didn’t have me gritting my teeth. That’s a major accomplishment for him.

  13. Hi, Fogs and company:

    It will be nice to see a 1912 Maxim Machine Gun being used the way its inventor intended.

    I’ve been waiting a long time to see Arnie return to his stellar trash roots and lead the charge in a film for a long time. This one looks and sounds like it may be the one!

    • Yeah, it pretty much is. There’s a lot of “Silly” mixed in with the slaughter. And for the most part, they let Arnie acknowledge he’s not a young man. Its fun, but be sure to check your brain at the door, Jack!

  14. “At that point, I just surrendered and didn’t ask anymore questions, obviously this was a realm where logic and physics didn’t exist as we knew them.” -haha, I imagine that you and I both threw up our hands at the same moment. LOL.

    You’re right, we were pretty identical in our thoughts on this one! fun review my friend.

    • Thanks.

      Yeah that was ridiculous on many levels. A) They had no idea he was there. Why reveal yourself B) If youre fast enough to blow through them like that, keep going and be gone C) You’re going to risk your life with that half assed manuever? WTF? D) Even if you thought you COULD pull it off, are you going to risk that sweet freaking ride? E) It WORKED? GTFOH! LOL Seriously.

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