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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

The Last Stand (2013)


Ah’nuld is back, and yes, still old.

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a aging sheriff of a peaceful border town who is called upon to take on a drug kingpin who escaped from FBI custody and is trying to cross the border into Mexico. Once again, it’s Arnold’s time to save the town, as well as the day.

Since he’s not the Governator of Kellyfornia anymore, is done banging house maids (so far as we know), isn’t bangin’ Maria Shriver (as far as we know), and has basically nothing else to do with his spare time and money, Ah’nuld is back and better than ever! Okay, maybe he’s not better than ever but dammit, he is back, in full action-mode, and shows us all what we’ve been missing out on for the past couple of years. Hey, you had to know this was coming once his role in Expendables 2 got bigger, you just had to.

And speaking of Arnie, at 65, the guy can still kick some ass, even if it is a tad goofier now than we ever remember. Yeah, he may have had a lost a step or two in his action-feet, and especially in his acting-chords, but as being an old, bad-ass that takes no prisoners when it comes to the law: Arnie is still at the top of his game. It’s been way too long since the last time we’ve seen Arnie handle a shotgun, tackle some thug, and chew-down one-liners like it’s his job (it sort of is), and this is the type of roles that reminds us why we love the guy so much in the first-place and don’t give a shit who, or what he bangs. Just as long as one of those bangs just so happen to be coming from a double-barrel shotgun, than it’s all fine and dandy with me. May not be fine with his kids or Maria, but hey, for an action-movie lover and Arnie-lover, it’s a-okay in my book.

But it’s not just Arnie’s show, as much as it is the rest of the cast’s as well, as they all get a chance to shine and have fun with dialogue that may be a bit below their pay-grade, but still shows all of the fun and joy each person can have. Johnny Knoxville has been getting top-billing for this movie (alongside Arnie, of course), but the guy is probably in it for no less than 15 minutes, but still does his usual thing: act like a dumb-ass and win our hearts over. The guy’s been doing that act for over a decade, whether it be scripted or unscripted, and that is no different here when he’s along the Terminator. Luis Guzman is a bundle of joy as the cranky deputy; Jamie Alexander is feisty and hot as the only police-woman of the county; and Rodrigo Santoro does what he can as the ex-star football-player-turned-total-bum, which is saying more than he could offer in What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Yes, I know I liked that movie, but still, his acting blew in it.

Never thought that these two would ever share the big-screen together. And I guess, neither did Whitaker, himself.

Never thought that these two would ever share the big-screen together. And I guess, neither did Whitaker, himself.

All are fine playing Arnie’s helpers/side-kicks but it’s really weird to see Forest Whitaker in a role of this standard. It’s not that he’s bad in the role, actually, he livens it up pretty well, it’s just that the material and role feel like they were written for a whole other movie, and a whole different place. Think of it as a role from Inside Man, stuck inside the setting of The Expendables. It just doesn’t gel well, no matter how much drama and class Whitaker tries to add. Poor guy. I bet he’s just waiting for the day that Denzel gets sick with the flu.

As for the opposite-side of the spectrum, things sort of get shaky. Yes, watching Peter Stormare chew-up the scenery with his Southern-growl and heavy-thick accent is fun, but it’s cartoonish and as over-the-top as you can get, especially with a performance from Stormare himself. And yes: that is saying something. However, he fares a lot better than our main baddie; a professional-driver-turned-bad-guy “played” by Eduardo Noriega. The reason I put the quotation-marks around the word, “played”, is because not only is this performance terrible, but the character just opposes no threat whatsoever to anybody around him. Yeah, so what if the guy knows how to turn-off all of the lights in his car at night, and so what if he can swerve around three SWAT vehicles on an open road. The guy still seems like a bit of a bitch and when he’s going against Ah’nuld, you just cannot wait for him to get his ass beaten, just so you don’t have to see him act, say, or try his hardest to be cool, but sinister. Then again, maybe that’s the point.

Anyway, who the hell cares about the cast in this situation?!? This movie is all about high-octane thrills, chills, jumps, rumps, and laughs; all of which are here, on full-display. Making his American-debut with this flick is Korean director Kim Jee-Woon, who has made some pretty impressive flicks in the past, but shows he is able to make relatively-mediocre material, a lot better just with a couple of modern-day spices here and there. Typical action-sequences like a chase through corn fields, or a shoot-out through the street, would have been handled in such a dull, conventional way that it wouldn’t have mattered if Ah’nuld was kicking ass and taking names, because it would have been boring. However, Jee-Woon gives us something new and stylish to take and breath in, and it’s great to see what can happen to obvious-material like an action-thriller starring Arnie, when you bring in foreign-prospects that are just waiting to hit the big time in the States. Hopefully, this means that we are going to see more of Jee-Woon, not only the action-genre, but in American movies in general.

Yeah, he's drunk. But that's what we call: PETER STORMARE.

Yeah, he’s drunk. But that’s what we call: PETER STORMARE.

However, as much as this movie may strive to be something new, refreshing, and an improvement on the conventional action-genre; the fact remains that it just isn’t. It is stupid, it is loud, it is obvious, and it is very, very much like Arnie’s past movies and as much as that may be a turn-on to some people who have been wanting a bit of old-school flavor to their action-movies, some still do not feel the same way. If this is the type of stuff you like, then yes, by all means, go out, buy a ticket, get some popcorn, slap-on some butter, get a large soda (diet or non-diet, your choice), take a seat, sit-back, relax, and just have a good time with all that’s to be seen on-screen. However, if this is not the type of stuff you like or would put in your Netflix queue, then just don’t even bother because it would be a waste of your precious time and money. Then again, just by seeing the names “Schwarzenegger” and “Knoxville” head-lining the same poster, I could already assume that you’d be able to decipher whether or not this is your type of movie, long before you even made a trip out to your local theater.

Consensus: The Last Stand isn’t necessarily re-inventing the wheel when it comes to the genre of action movies, but still offers more than plenty of fun, excitement, action, and lovable quips, courtesy of everybody’s favorite Austrian, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Welcome back, Arnie. Glad to see you’re with us and still can’t speak a lick of understandable-English.

6.5 / 10 = Rental!!

Please come save Delaware County. Please!

Please come save Delaware County. Please!

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21 responses to “The Last Stand (2013)

  1. AngryVader (Erik) January 19, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Good review, Dan. You and I are pretty much identical on this one. Sure it’s dumb, but it isn’t any more so than any of Arnold’s other action films of old. It’s great to see Arnie back on screen doing what he does best, and it’s hard not to have fun with that.

  2. Shah Shahid January 19, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Of course I’m going to watch this. Why the hell not. It’s Arnold. He’s back. Literally this time. Screw all else.

    Nice review!

  3. keith7198 January 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Good review. My rating system is different than yours but I don’t think our scores are too far apart. I do think I liked it a tad better than you did. Good to see Arnie doing what he does best (no, not acting! Killing bad guys!).

  4. filmhipster January 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I think I’ll catch this one because of Kim Jee-Woon rather than the ‘Arnold’ factor. :)

  5. ianthecool January 19, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    That picture you posted at the end of your review is enough to make me never want to see this movie.

  6. Pingback: The Last Stand Review: AMERICA!!!! (F*ck Yeah) | Rorschach Reviews

  7. Mark Hobin January 20, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I love Arnold, but I just can’t bring myself to see a 65 year old man still acting like he did in the 1980s. Apparently neither could anyone else. This tanked at the box office. Nice review though.

  8. Fogs' Movie Reviews January 21, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    “Governator of Kellyfornia” Heh! :D You crack me up dude.

    Spot on. I didnt really buy into the “High Octane” element as much as I did the cheesy, silly fun aspect. But I think we both arrive at about the same place. A 6.5 is right about right !

  9. Evan Crean January 23, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Your intro also cracked me up. I’ve been a fan of Arnold since I was a kid and I’m happy that he’s back. He may be old, as he acknowledges a couple of places in the film, although he can still kick ass. He can fire guns, drive cars, and beat the shit out of Mexican drug lords in fist fights. You’re right that this film isn’t that original or even all that funny, but it does have some impressive directing. Plus the bad guy had some pretty creative ways for accomplishing his plan even if they were completely ridiculous. I couldn’t believe how well shot this movie was and how much that saved this film from being absolutely atrocious. I agree that Forest Whittaker felt out of place in this film. It was disappointing that his character didn’t really interact with Arnold. I guess his character just needed to stay out of the way in order for Arnold to have something to do.

  10. Dan January 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    This comes out in my country on Feb 21st. Nice. Thanks for the review. Better than a titty wank.

  11. Pingback: The Filmster

  12. Pingback: LAMBScores: Mama's Last Stand in the Broken City | The Large Association of Movie Blogs

  13. Pingback: LAMBScores: Mama's Last Stand in the Broken City | The Large Association of Movie Blogs

  14. Ryan Hawbecker April 5, 2013 at 4:46 am

    Arnold should have chosen not to come back to movie. Check out my review http://www.ryanhawbecker.com/2013/01/the-last-stand-movie-review.html?spref=tw

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