It seems that all I watch these days are Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, well what can I say – I find his movies endlessly enjoyable and they are your best bet for some unadulterated action! I have been meaning to give The Last Stand a watch for some time now and finally got round to it, only about a year after its release – which for me is pretty great!
I was expecting the usual from this Arnie action flick, that I would enjoy it but that it wouldn’t be anything special. Overall I think The Last Stand gave me a little bit more than I had bargained for. I was really pleasantly surprised with what I saw – definitely Arnie’s best recent action movie. Right from the word go I was drawn in, with two stories lines running parallel to each other coming to a head as the events of the movie unfolded, there was so much to watch and enjoy! In terms of the action on offer, The Last Stand had something for every kind of action junkie. A breakout by a fugitive, high speed car chases, hand to hand combat and a lot of guns! The action is well placed throughout and easily sustains the viewers interest. Things really get serious with the first action sequence in the town this movie is set in, Summerton, some fantastic action unfolds here including Arnie firing a massive machine gun out the back of an American school bus! This sequence and the ones following had a lot to offer however I do have to highlight the fact that at times the action did feel quite disjointed. I think this could have been helped with the addition of some music at points during these scenes, it is a shame because the action here was great. The scenes that follow are of a high quality too and we are treated to some combat sequences and a car chase through a corn field. I may have made a few tweaks to these scenes but they are still fantastic and fit in really well to the movie overall.
Sheriff Ray Owens is a fantastic character for Arnie to play and one that is actually really believable, I could see Arnie being the Sheriff of a town like this so I thought this was a near perfect role for him. The rest of the cast do the job however at times are unconvincing – I was never too sure of Jackass star, Johnny Knoxville, however he is effectively playing himself here. However the always reliable Forest Whitaker adds some class to the affair with a great performance. The villain was played by Eduardo Noriega who was unknown to me, at first I was hoping for a bigger name to fill the shoes of the villain. Despite this very quickly I became pleased with his performance and he was able to create a good villain without the advantage of being a recognisable star, doesn’t often happen. The few attempts at humour weren’t great however small flaws like this can easily be overlooked because of the nature of the film. I watched this wanting action and that is what it delivers. If you are a fan of Arnie you should love this, but I think this is also one for other action fans too – a great addition to recent action films. I can see this becoming one of those films that if I ever see on TV I will struggle to change channels on. Although I remember upon it’s release it received more average/negative reviews I think there is a lot to be praised here – I was impressed. This is a genre that I seem to really like though as I explicitly enjoyed Escape Plan which received similar reviews, so maybe this is more a matter of taste.
I know most people are of the opinion that these aged action stars should hang up their hand grenades and leave it to the youngsters but I am all for it! As long as they keep producing films like this I am more than happy to let them sweat it out in front of the camera.
BIGGEST FLAW – The action feeling disjointed in parts
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Near perfect role for Arnie
Rating – 8.5/10