The Last Stand (2013) / Review by Marla

Sheriff Ray Owens: "You make us immigrants look bad."
By Jee-woon Kim
With Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker and Luis Guzmán

I watched this movie because it was the most recent Arnold Schwarzenegger film and I was in the mood for something light and fun. I was expecting something in vein of Junior or Twins (or even Jingle) but got what felt to me an experiment on Arnold's part - a certain stage in his career where he wanted to attempt covering more serious political ground but didn't want to give up on his dead-pan one-liners as well. (Gabriel Cortez: You fucked up my car. / Sheriff Ray Owens: You fucked up my day off.) This led to the film struggling somewhere in the area of political satire and drama in those rare moments interspersed between numerous gun fights and high speed car chases.

The movie is hectic, bloody, and unapologetic. It details the story of an escaped prisoner/drug lord who has taken an agent hostage and is attempting to cross the US/Mexico border. In steps small town Sheriff Ray Owens, an Austrian immigrant who, much to the skepticism of the FBI task force (which included Asian-American and African-American "immigrant") attempts to capture the runaway prisoner.  On several occasions it reminded me of Tarantino's style (the explosive shots of blood, for one).

I liked: The humor, while not particularly stellar, was still fairly amusing. The gun fights were inventive and the explosions were entertaining. The gorgeous ladies were indeed gorgeous.

I disliked: Villain/hero dichotomy was far too pronounced. I like Arnold as an anti-hero rather than that brave cop who saves the day. Oversimplification of many concepts as well.

If you're a fan of Arnold and want to watch something light to take your mind off things, this would fit the bill.  Otherwise, I'd advise you to pass.


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