Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Last Stand (2013)

Director: Kim Jee-Woon

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Titos Menchaca, Peter Stormare, Richard Dillard, Eduardo Noriega, Luis Guzman, Johnny Knoxville, Harry Dean Stanton

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Retirement is for sissies.

Plot: Sheriff Owens is a man who has resigned himself to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction after leaving his LAPD post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with failure and defeat after his partner was crippled. After a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy, the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the hemisphere is hurtling toward the border at 200 mph in a specially outfitted car with a hostage and a fierce army of gang members. He is headed, it turns out, straight for Summerton Junction, where the whole of U.S. law enforcement will have their last opportunity to make a stand and intercept him before he slips across the border forever. At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately accepts responsibility for the face off.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Yeah, I probably will.

When I go to movies like this I just want to be entertained.  It didn't hurt that this was Schwarzenegger's first starring role in a decade.  When you take how much time off he's had into consideration and that he's 10 years older (he's now 65) this picture is easier to take.  If anything he feels like he's been out of the acting game for a while but it's not so much that he's embarrassing or anything.  He's does a good job.  He doesn't say much and he moves like a much-older man, just like his character should.  What I didn't dig was Johnny Knoxville's ridiculously silly yokel role.  I like the actor but he's way over the top and stupid.  And while I'm at it, Forest Whitaker was overboard with his role, too, but much less annoying.  He's got one emotion and that's pissed.

The action scenes were fun and there's a bit of humor thrown into the mix.  The details of the drug lord's getaway are laughably outlandish and unrealistic but you have to take it as popcorn entertainment.  It's just there so we can do certain things, set up action set pieces - it's a means to an end.  The big showdown between Ray (Arnold) and the bad guy, Cortez (Noriega) is pretty darn good.  I like the lack of music.  Ray's experience and large build is just enough of a match to the lesser but more agile Cortez that it seems like they're putting some real effort into it - they're really sweating it and wearing down.  I dug it.  It's good to see Schwarzenegger back in the saddle.

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