The good news: After a 10-year absence, the most legendary action hero's cinematic return is totally an Arnold Schwarzenegger flick, a loud, riotous symphony of bad one-liners, explosions, blood, guns and fast cars. The bad news is that The Last Stand is an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, and not one of the Total Recall or True Lies variety. In its simplicity, it hews closer to Red Heat or Raw Deal. Which is kind of what we need right now in an age of highly choreographed, high-concept action ever reliant on shaky-cam fights and intricate plot contrivances. This is gun-worshiping, masochistic comfort food for anyone who ever stayed up late watching Commando, and in many respects it delivers on its promises of mayhem. Said mayhem is delivered by the great Kim Jee-woon, a master of taking genre tropes and amping them up to ridiculous levels. The South Korean auteur proved his chops with The Good, the Bad, the Weird, a kimchi Western with a cacophony of inventive violence. So it's only fitting that his Hollywood debut offers much of the same, albeit in a stripped-down, dumb-fuck shoot-’em-up. The plot could have been written by a 6-year-old: A Mexican drug lord escapes police custody, gets in a souped-up Corvette and makes a 200 mph dash for the border, where a semi-retired badass (Ah-nuld) is sheriff of a sleepy town. When the Corvette (and its accompanying henchmen) arrives, things—actually, pretty much everything—go boom. Especially bodies. Alas, this is a Hollywood film, so there's considerable time wasted on Forest Whitaker as an FBI agent whose sole purpose seems to be staring stoically at computer screens and barking obvious observations. But when Arnold plays Road Runner to a sea of Wile E. Coyotes with automatic weapons, The Last Stand is a welcome return to form—a hysterically stupid celebration of chaos delivered with childlike love.
- Running Time:
- Release Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
- MPAA Rating: R
- Critic's Score: B-
- Watch the trailer