Hollywood Product: The Last Stand 

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back ... unfortunately

click to enlarge Johnny Knoxville (left) and Arnold Schwarzenegger hold off a Mexican cartel in The Last Stand.


Johnny Knoxville (left) and Arnold Schwarzenegger hold off a Mexican cartel in The Last Stand.

GENRE: Rural action

THE PITCH: An FBI unit led by Special Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) plans to escort Mexican cartel boss Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) to stand trial but he escapes. Knowing his only chance to evade prosecution is to make it across the border to Mexico, Cortez must first get through the sleepy border town of Sommerton, Ariz. where Sheriff Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his deputies plan to stop Cortez and his supporters no matter the cost from escaping justice.

MONEY SHOT: A still incarcerated Cortez masterminds an elaborate scheme to escape that involves an electromagnet, decoys and other "I don't believe this shit" stunts that leave the feds chasing their tails scrambling for a way to stop, as one special agent described it - "A psychopath in a Batmobile."

BORDER LOGIC: A frustrated Cortez confronts his adversaries prior to an altercation suggesting, "... Hell, twelve-thousand Mexicans cross the border everyday and you have a problem with just one trying to get back!"

WORST LINE: Mano-y-mano, Cortez is faced with a dilemma when up against Sheriff Owens. After offering a bribe to secure safe passage back to Mexico, Owens replies, "My honor is not for sale."

BODY COUNT: I actually tried to keep up with the carnage count of law officials, cartel muscle and innocent town folk but before the halfway point, it gets a little difficult to count. Before the final blood drenched gun battle, I counted two innocent townies, 16 officers, and eight thugs killed. By the time the credit rolls, its just too bloody, and too numerous to keep track.

THE PERFECT GETAWAY (CAR): Cortez evades his pursuers in a black Corvette ZR1. Chevy's latest iteration of the classic vehicle has a V8 engine maxing out at 634 horsepower, can go from 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds and reaches speeds of up to 205 mph. The list price for the vehicle is $112,600 - a steal for a drug lord.

N-R-AYE: This line is sure to make the rounds. Faced with the task at hand to fend off Cortez and whatever trouble follows, Owens enlists the help of the town's eccentric gun enthusiast, Lewis Dinkum (Johnny Knoxville). Entering his secured warehouse the sheriff and his crew are awestruck with his arsenal. Owens inquires about the quantity and acquisition of the cache of weapons to which Dinkum replies, "That's between me and Jesus - Uncle Sam don't need to know nothing about that!"

BOTTOM LINE: After a ten-year hiatus, believe or not the Governator is back. With only a couple of cameos in the Expendables franchise Schwarzenegger now takes has top billing in his first feature film since Terminator 3 in 2003.

Last Stand seems to be a safe bet for Schwarzenegger. It is brimmed with his token one-liners, explosive car chases, gunplay, and fist fights. Unfortunately trying to pick up his signature on-screen persona after a decade of politics has made him a dim shadow of his former self. Even after enlisting a core of writers and Korean director Jee-woon Kim efforts to frame explosively bloody scenarios around a slower, less appealing Arnold, it culminates into a simple, weak bore of a film. There are very few redeeming moments with uninspired puns and gratuitous violence that makes it is tortuous to watch.

Towards the anti-climatic ending, Schwarzenegger's character smashes through a door and lands hard on the floor of the local diner. A shocked cook and stunned patrons look at the felled sheriff and ask, "How do you feel?" The sheriff rises slowly and grunts, "... Old." I couldn't agree more.


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The Last Stand
Rated R · 107 min. · 2013
Official Site: thelaststandfilm.com
Director: Jee-woon Kim
Writer: Andrew Knauer
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Genesis Rodriguez, Jaimie Alexander, Rodrigo Santoro, Peter Stormare, Forest Whitaker, Luis Guzmán, Johnny Knoxville, Zach Gilford and Harry Dean Stanton


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