Monday, October 21, 2013

Movie Review ... The Last Stand


thelaststandposterEveryone knows anything starring Arnold Schwarzenegger will never be considered high art.  Usually full of explosions, gun-fights and fierce battles, many have been huge hits.  A decade after his last leading role he returns to the explosive fray with ‘The Last Stand’. If his extended cameo in last year’s ‘The Expendables 2’ was an appetiser, his latest is surely his main course with an ammo armada sure to satisfy his most ardent fans.

Sommerton Junction is a sleepy Arizona town where not much happens.  Its Sheriff, Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger), tries to maintain a semblance of authority whilst nursing past regrets.  His world is shaken when a fearsome drug baron escapes custody and heads towards his turf.  Aided by FBI agent Bannister (Forest Whitaker) and strange arms collector Lewis (Johnny Knoxville), Owens ensures his latest adversary is greeted with a bullet-fuelled Armageddon.

The question fans want to ask is ‘does The Last Stand deliver the goods?’.  The answer is a resounding yes with tons of weaponry put to good use.  There’s never going to be anything substantial in an Arnie movie, although his latest is one of the best of his later career.  He looks a bit grizzled these days but he still ensures his character kicks butt.  Thankfully he is backed by a decent script and support cast happily joining the malarkey.

Kim Ji-Woon’s direction is a huge asset as he skilfully handles the action.  Although it’s difficult in making something new from a standard formula, his nod to Western genre staples serves well.  This is aided by an interesting story focussing on three separate events at once.  This allows the characters to develop with their eventual meeting having more impact.  Each scene logically follows the next with the mix of humour and action just right.

Having some depth preventing it from being a standard throwaway escapist flick, ‘The Last Stand’ is enjoyable fun.  It’s a pleasure seeing Arnie back doing what he does best with his subsequent projects hopefully mirroring the good quality of his current outrageous adventure.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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