Sunday, January 20, 2013

Movie Review: The Last Stand (2013)

Wow, how I've missed "real" Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

Yeah, we had his appearances in the Expendables movies, the second more than the first. But for almost 20 years, he didn't make anything to write home about. I give Junior a pass since it's so odd and I love his chemistry with Danny DeVito, and The 6th Day was serviceable if bland, but the rest? Pretty much a big stinking pile of crap.

So when I went into the theater today, I was rather hopeful, but also more than a little nervous. After so long, would the magic be missing on the big screen? Would the old Arnold personality be gone for good? Would this come off as just another Collateral Damage?

Well, I walked out of there relieved and pumped for what will hopefully be at least another decade of kick-ass Schwarzenegger cinema. The Last Stand is that classic blend of preposterous and awesome, the kind of action movie he made millions upon millions with during the 80's. In fact, this could very easily have been a script dusted off from some shelf where it'd been sitting for 25 years, touched up just enough to remain valid today. Arnold could have played this role just as well in his 40's as he is in his 60's, and there were just as many great character actors and scene-chewing villains back in the day for him to shoot up and beat down.

As much as The Expendables series is an homage to those classic 80's action movies, The Last Stand IS a classic 80's action movie. If someone was going to write a comeback vehicle for Schwarzenegger, they couldn't have done much better than this. Over-the-top violence, a small sprinkling of profanity but by no means an F-bomb festival, gratuitous gory violence but nothing too disgusting, some goofy sidekicks but none so obnoxious that you begin to hate them more than the bad guys.

Oh, and of course, Arnold winds up with an ENORMOUS handgun by the end of the movie (S&W M500 with what has to be at least an 8" barrel), and he uses it to good effect on a much-deserving bad guy. Jingle all the way, motherf#&%ers!

So if you're a fan of Classic Arnold Movies, those 80's to early 90's Arnold movies made before great action flicks seemed to go the way of the Dodo Bird, go see The Last Stand.

It's good for what ails ya.


Chris said...

I'm definitely going to see this one this coming weekend. It appeared to me from the trailer to be something I'd dig, and your review definitely seals it. Now I'm actually excited to see it!

wayne d. dundee said...

I plan to go see this over the weekend, no matter what. But your review adds to my sense of urgency. In the next few weeks we have have got some real interesting stuff in store:
Jason Statham in PARKER
Willis (on Valentine's Day, no less) in IT'S A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD ...
Yippi-ki-yay, indeed!

Hank Brown said...

I saw this one Saturday night. It was the first drive-in movie ever for my wife and son. It was great fun.