Here’s a life lesson the audience can learn from The Last Stand: always be nice to your neighbors, because you never know when they might just save your life. This goes for the elderly as well. If there’s a heavily armed thug sneaking up on you, you might just need that sweet elderly person down the block to whip out her 12 gauge and blow his evil ass away. Take it from Sheriff Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a little politeness goes a long way, especially when the nation’s most wanted drug kingpin is ravaging your town en route to Mexico.
The Last Stand is the perfect film for Arnold’s return as a leading action man. The script utilizes Arnold’s age to their advantage, recognizing it, and adjusted some scenes accordingly to make the action fun, but more believable. He’s not his typical invincible hard ass, one who doesn’t think twice about chasing down baddies on foot. Nope, they play up Sheriff Owens wisdom and experience by placing him next to a bunch of noobs who haven’t really seen what life is like outside of their small town, Sommerton Junction. Arnold still puts a major hurtin’ on the many, many thugs and henchmen in this film, but through more realistic stunts. If Arnold went running across rooftops and sliding down buildings on top of a car to smash his way in and defeat the perp, it’d feel like he was trying too hard to be what he used to be ten years ago. Overall, he’s still a badass hero, but the wild action sequences take a little more of a toll on his body than they used. Bravo to Kim Ji-woon (director) and Andrew Knauer (writer) for producing action sequences that were high energy, fun, and within the scope of the cast’s ability.
Speaking of the cast’s ability, the supporting cast of The Last Stand put on their best pair of funny pants to help boost the quality of this film. Johnny Knoxville and Luis Guzman were hilarious, turning what could have been drab, boring lines into a comical land mine. Even Arnold, who has never been known for his award winning acting, had some humorous moments.
The film doesn’t have any complicated plot lines- it’s focus is on being coherent and enjoyable. The main villain doesn’t even feel like the main villain, really, given that he spends most of his time racing for the border, but a gang of his henchmen, (lead by the always amazing Peter Stormare) invade Sommerton Junction to clear the way for their boss, giving the audience someone to hate ahd the heroes something to do. The film provides a tremendous good time reminiscent of the “old days” with explosive action, a simple story, and some laughs to hold everything together.
Baddies: Drug kingpin, Gabriel Cortez
Best Line: That’s just between us and Jesus. Uncle Sam doesn’t need to know anything about that.
Best Kill: A machine gun-bearing henchman is on top of the roof firing a relentless stream of bullets, so Sheriff Owens decides to put a stop to it. Owens busts out of the rooftop door going 90 miles an hour, never even slowing down or hesitating, and pounces his foe like a cat on catnip, tackling him off the roof. While they’re in mid-air, Owens shoots the guy in the head, splattering his brains everywhere as they fall to the ground. Then, Owens uses his corpse as a cushion to break his fall, ultimately turning him into a bad guy pancake.
Action Rating: 4 Arnolds Being Back, out of 5
This is the Action Flick Chick, and you’ve just been kicked in the ass!
Other posts on Arnold Schwarzenegger:
- Schwarzenegger and Stallone: Still Fierce Competitors or Friends?
- Being Human 3-2: Swingin’ Sally, Ailing Aiden, and Jostled Josh