"The Last Stand" Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Sat, 12 Jan 2013 09:37:56
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With The Last Stand, Arnold's back and better than ever.
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns with guns blazing this time around. The Last Stand is everything that action fans have been hoping for since our hero took office as the "Governator" of California. The big screen has been a lot less explosive since then, and action movies have become something of a lost art—minus The Expendables flicks of course.
The '80s and '90s were rife with bullet-riddled classics from Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis. In the summer, it was like every weekend unleashed another banger replete with as many gun shots as one-liners. The 21st century hasn't had that same luxury, and it's time for the heroes to return.
Schwarzenegger shows a new generation how it's done as Sheriff Ray Owens. After leaving narcotics detail in Los Angeles, Owens took over as Sheriff of the sleepy Sommerton. It's quiet until a dangerous cartel boss with a penchant for racing sports cars named Gabriel Cortez, a menacing Eduardo Noriega, decides he's going to speed through town and across the border into Mexico. Cortez has a bevy of gun-wielding trained killers at his disposal and they descend upon Sommerton after an inventive snatch-and-grab scene in Las Vegas. Even though Forest Whitaker's Agent John Bannister is trailing Cortez from afar, there's only one man on the frontlines. Luckily, it's the Sheriff.
The ensuing action stands on par with the likes of Commando and Predator in terms of incendiary bliss. The gunfights pop off with a one-two punch of '80s bombast and modern sheen. However, The Last Stand's sense of humor burns equally brightly. When inspecting a body, Schwarzenegger puts on reading glasses, drawing laughs from the theater. There are also some lines that belong high up in the Schwarzenegger lexicon. While blasting meat with a giant .44 magnum, he asks gun museum owner Lewis Dinkum—Johnny Knoxville—and his deputy Mike Figuerola [Luis Guzmán], "Can someone tell me what two-thirds of my force is doing out here firing rockets at a slab of beef?" Just before the titular battle, Figuerola picks up a mace, and Schwarzenegger, in timeless delivery, adds, "What do you think we're fighting in a Crusade?" Then, there's the obligatory "Welcome to Sommerton" after offing one villain and, of course, "I'm the sheriff".
Guzmán and Knoxville enhance the laughs and ignite the perfect comic chemistry with Schwarzenegger. As always though, the action is equally a star. Director Jee-woon Kim has done a fantastic job of pacing the movie as a nonstop, tough, and thrilling rollercoaster ride. It's been a while, but The Last Stand is the action event of the decade, and Arnold Schwarzenegger's best move since True Lies.
We need an action movie likes this right now. Thankfully, Arnold's back.
Are you excited to see The Last Stand on Friday, January 18, 2013?
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