STARRING: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Eduardo Noriega, Jaimie Alexander, Rodrigo Santoro, Luis Guzman, Peter Stormare, Genesis Rodriguez, Zach Gilford and Johnny Knoxville
The leader of a drug cartel busts out of a courthouse and speeds to the Mexican border, where the only thing in his path is a sheriff and his inexperienced staff.
The plot takes place with a drug lord, Gabriel Cortez, being escorted to prison, when an unconventional escape plan from the FBI begins and success, with Cortez taking an FBI agent hostage and getting away in a modified Chevrolet Corvette, making his way towards Mexico and always being a step ahead to go through the blockades set up to stop him. Enter the small town of Sommerton, where a former LAPD officer now resides and is the local sheriff, who notices strange happenings in the town and once he learns of Cortez is making a move towards Sommerton, he reckons the two are connected. Now the sheriff must prepare his novice deputies, who normally have to deal with such things like someone parking in a fire lane and shooting guns at slabs of meat, to take on these men and stop Cortez from crossing the border into Mexico.
Got to say, first off, this is one of the few Arnie comeback films that I’ve enjoyed. The Last Stand is a B movie special of 80’s proportions, minus the lack of one liners, but the premise is simple enough and the action set pieces are fast paced and ultimately the final act in certain parts you have to leave your brain at the door as to how certain people survived in certain moments.
Arnie is good as Sheriff Ray Owens, the man with a guilty conscience for a past operation, he may not be as agile or fast as he once was, but holds his own amongst the young guns in the shootouts and even has one particular moment where he shows one of the best acting scenes he’s done upon his return to the industry. The rest of the cast, Jaimie Alexander, Forest Whitaker mainly, are fine in the roles, but the film is mainly for the action and… it’s takes a while for the buildup to get moving if you’re expecting it to be an all old action thrill ride. Johnny Knoxville is also at hand to literally be himself in proceedings to bring some light heartedness to the film, this may put some people off as they don’t like the man’s acting ability, but he hasn’t got that much screen time compared to the rest of them.
I thought the film was finely paced as it was a short film (just over an hour and a half I think) and when the action scenes arrive, they are well shot/done, but most of the characters though are pretty one dimensional and not that fleshed out within the film, also that one moment where you’re pretty sure one of them has gone off the fags (meaning ‘dead’) and suddenly appears with just a bit of dust, it took me out of the film…and also laugh out loud.
While it won’t win awards on originality, The Last Stand is an entertaining enough 80’s throwback type vibe action film to watch, with nicely done action sequences under the direction of Jee-woon and Arnold Schwarzenegger steadying the ship on screen. I also want that Chevrolet Corvette. 6/10