The Last Stand Review: AMERICA!!!! (F*ck Yeah)

MV5BODc4NjI0OTYwNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTYwODQ3OA@@._V1._SY317_If you do see this movie, listen to this right afterwards and let the awesomeness flow over you like a red, white and blue tide.

Let’s face facts.  The Last Stand isn’t going to win any awards, and it isn’t trying to.  Sure, the story is simple bordering on cliche.  Sure, the acting overall is sub-par (which could have been achieved by including Johnny Knoxville on the roster by simple laws of averages).  Sure, it plays out like the ultimate fantasy of every paranoid, gun-hoarding 2nd amendment literalist, which isn’t exactly well timed with the current environment surrounding firearms in this country.  Between the fact that Arnold Schwartzenegger hasn’t starred in a movie in 10 years and the small matter that director Jee-woon Kim may produced some highly regarded Korean Language films (The Good, The Bad and the Weird, I Saw the Devil) but has never worked with American actors before, the project could have been a complete disaster.  While it’s still no Die Hard, The Last Stand proves that Kim has the presence of mind to know exactly what his audience wants and the ability to deliver it to them at every turn.

"You make us immigrants look bad"

“You make us immigrants look bad”

The Plot:

“The leader of a drug cartel busts out of a courthouse and speeds to the Mexican border, where the only thing in his path is a sheriff and his inexperienced staff.”

In other words, the plot simply exists to give some reason for Arnold to kill a bunch of dudes without the audience feeling bad for them.

The Players:

"I'm the Sheriff"

“I’m the Sheriff”

As surprising as it is, Arnold has still got it.  His character, Sheriff Ray Owens, isn’t given much development beyond that of your standard aging action hero, but Schwartzenegger plays his with the sort of self-aware confidence of someone who knows the drill by now.  It certainly helps that he’s given some incredibly funny lines to back that confidence up, including one on immigration near the end of the film that largely deflates a lot of the xenophobic potential the concept could have had.  All in all, I really do look forward to seeing Arnold continue his return to the industry after his brief experimentation with politics (and housekeepers).  Terminator 5 might not be the worst thing in the world after all.

Tied with Zombie Apocalypse for top Redneck Wet Dreams

Tied with Zombie Apocalypse for top Redneck Wet Dreams

Surrounding Owens, we have not one, but TWO sources of comic relief in Deputy Figuerola (Luis Guzman, graduate of Greendale Community College) and the eccentric arms-hoarder Dinkum (Johnny Knoxville, graduate of nothing in particular).  Guzman and Knoxville are character actors on their best days, but their dopey charm is well used throughout the movie and does a lot to support the fun tone that works so well in the film’s favor.  I did enjoy the fact that Dinkum named his guns, too;  I myself have a volvo named Daenerys, a guitar named Ariadne, an HK G3 named Gertrude and a Mosin Nagant named Natasha.

Thank god you guys showed up, that's means it's already all over

Thank god you guys showed up, that’s means it’s already all over

On of the movie’s weakest points, surprisingly, is veteran actor Forrest Whittaker as FBI agent Bannister.  He doesn’t fit in with the movie’s overall tone and fails to make any waves on the serious end of things either.  It’s as if they couldn’t decide to make him the douchey FBI guy or the honest cop on the outside a la Sergeant Powell in Die Hard, so they just decided to make him both.  Cartel leader and bad guy extraordinaire Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) gets to drive a sweet-ass corvette, but other than that isn’t anything special.  Also, Peter Stormare is present because… he looks like a bad guy I guess. He kept switching accents throughout the entire movie, and it couldn’t help but feel like the Big Lebowski veteran was phoning it in a bit.

Corvette vs. Camaro; 3 cheers for product placement!

Corvette vs. Camaro; 3 cheers for product placement!

The Politics:

Nope, not touching this one.  I know that some people might specifically not enjoy the film for this reason, seeing as it represents a way that people use to justify excessive access to heavy weaponry for civilian use, but it simply didn’t stop me from enjoying the movie as an above-average action flick.

The Verdict:  7.5/10  Superior

+ Schwartzenegger is finally “Back”

+ Guzman and Knoxville get some great comic relief in

+ The tone is somewhat inconsistent but ends up on the fun side more often than not.

– The characters are flat, the acting is so so, blah blah blah it’s a freaking action movie

Critical Consensus:

Rotten Tomatoes: 59%

IMDb: 6.6/10

Metacritic: 54/100

Other Reviews:

FlixChatter: 4.0/5

Paragraph Film Reviews: 7.5/10

The Code is Zeek: 3.5/5

Fogs’ Movie Reviews: B

Dan the Man Movie Reviews: 6.5/10

The Focused Filmographer: 3.0/5

The Daily Rich: [Positive]

Average: 7.1/10 – Good

About r361n4

I'm a student at the University of Washington Majoring Business. I've always loved movies and my goal is to work on the financial side of the film industry. Until then though, I figure I'll spare my friends from my opinions and shout them from a digital mountaintop for anyone who's interested. After all, if a tree falls in a forest and nobody blogs about it, does it really happen?
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24 Responses to The Last Stand Review: AMERICA!!!! (F*ck Yeah)

  1. Can’t wait for this 😀

  2. Looking forward to this. Love me a bit of Arnie!

  3. theipc says:

    I JUST got in from seeing this and – I loved it – great write up! “Welcome to Sommerton….”

  4. Amonymous says:

    My expectations for this were low when I saw the trailer but it’s been getting a lot of positive word of mouth. Succinct review as always.

  5. CMrok93 says:

    This movie is stupid, but a whole bunch of fun in pure, Ah’nuld fashion and that is all that matters. Glad to see the Governator is back and even though he’s not better than ever, he’s still doing what we all loved from him in the first-place. Good review Andy.

  6. Mark Hobin says:

    I love the way you reference Team America: World Police in the title which is possibly the funniest comedy of the last 10 years. I loved Arnold in the 80s. Not so sure I was to see a senior citizen (he’s 65!) still acting the same way but your write-up makes a good case for it. Great review!

    • r361n4 says:

      Lol, glad somebody appreciated the reference 🙂

      Another review I read mentioned the fact that Arnold doesn’t fight his aging but embraces it, and it made him much more likable for me (As opposed to, say, Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher; I liked the movie but it’s obvious that Cruise was trying to convince people that he isn’t 50)

  7. ruth says:

    Thanks for the link, looks like I’m the most generous when I rated this but hey I really think it was fun. “The Last Stand isn’t going to win any awards, and it isn’t trying to” Exactly! And Arnie’s definitely still got it, but nice to have comedic scene-stealers like Guzman and Knoxville, especially the former who’s always fun to watch in everything he does.

  8. LOL!! This line right here was hysterical “Sure, it plays out like the ultimate fantasy of every paranoid, gun-hoarding 2nd amendment literalist” 😀 Good stuff Andy! 😀

    You pretty much nailed it. This is light, goofy fun. If you want to see it as that, its an ok flick, but if youre out to beat it up, it doesnt stand a chance.

    • r361n4 says:

      Just read your review, I can’t argue with you on that one. There’s plenty of movies like this where I could easily see how I could find 100 reasons to dislike it, but I’d rather try to find 100 reasons to like it instead

  9. wordschat says:

    Loved it. End of story.

  10. yep, this one is simply “bubblegum for the brain.” ha. fun, but ya gotta turn off your brain to enjoy it for what it is. I wanted to scream BOOOO to Forest Whitaker whenever I saw him on the screen. both he and the villain. BAD. just bad.

    but Schwarzenegger made it all worth the watch and made it fun.

  11. Hil says:

    Just been to see “The Last Stand” and I second everything you have to say in your review – it’s a good one! I loved it! It’s not Ingmar Bergman, that’s for sure – but huge fun to watch! And I (speaking as a 62-yr-old lady) do love a cracking action movie. Was persuaded to see “Quartet” directed by Dustin (“They should be making more films for the older generation”) Hoffman – and nearly died of total boredom. This movie put the jump-leads on me and totally revived me! Hooray!
    PS I want that Corvette ZR1 … and the Big Revolver!

    • r361n4 says:

      Lol, that is super awesome that you’re breaking demographic boundries like that, Bravo. I have yet to see Quartet, but I have a feeling that Maggie Smith is going to be the main thing that would make it worth it for me.

      I’m pretty sure the revolver is a Smith & Wesson .50 magnum, the largest calibur handgun ever made. I’ve fired one before and didn’t break my nose like Jerry, but it’s still incredibly terrifying, lol

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