Josh Wilding Reviews: THE LAST STAND

Josh Wilding Reviews: THE LAST STAND

It hasn't made a huge impact at the North American box office, but what did I make of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s highly anticipated return to the big screen in Jee-woon Kim's The Last Stand? Well, hit the jump to read my spoiler-free verdict on the action movie!

He may have turned up in both instalments of The Expendables, but The Last Stand is the film that truly marks Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the big screen. And damn, it’s good to finally have him back! He may be a little older than when we last saw him in a leading role (2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines), but the legendary actor is just as capable of kicking ass and taking names as ever. As Ray Owens, Schwarzenegger captures the weary and good-natured Sheriff with no trouble whatsoever; it’s the sort of role that he’s comfortably grown into and one that he can undoubtedly continue to take advantage of in this new age of Arnie. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking he can’t still handle himself – as is mentioned above, he has no trouble tackling the big action sequences, all while adding some great new one-liners to his already packed out repertoire. He’s backed up by a supporting cast that varies wildly in quality. You have the good (Jaimie Alexander, Forest Whitaker), the bad (Luis Guzmán, Peter Stormare) and the downright forgettable (Johnny Knoxville, Eduardo Noriega). Still, combined, they do just about enough to make this a decent enough ensemble piece. It would however have been good to have more of the focus on Schwarzenegger, especially in the first act.

It’s not too difficult to talk about the story as it really just boils down to most of the characters listed above taking a “stand” by protecting their town from a Cartel chief who is hoping to cross the border after escaping from the FBI. It’s an interesting enough concept, if not wholly original and more than a little clichéd in places, but the fact that is fleshed out with plenty of fantastic action sequences and humour more than makes up for this. Jee-woon Kim directs the hell out of the aforementioned action and the shoot-out’s, car chases and brutal final fight all add up to make Kim a director who will hopefully become a permanent fixture of the genre. It’s a shame that the majority of the characters are so paper-thin, but that comes as a result of the type of movie it is. The fact is, The Last Stand is a fun, dumb action movie starring one of the world’s greatest (and most iconic) action stars AND a really impressive turn from the drop dead gorgeous Jaimie Alexander. If you want filmmaking at its very finest, you can always just go catch a screening of Django Unchained or Zero Dark Thirty. For a damn good time and good old fashioned FUN, make sure you watch The Last Stand before it’s too late.

While it may not bring anything particularly new to the action genre, The Last Stand is a fun way of spending a couple of hours at the cinema and well-worth checking out. Welcome back Arnie; we've missed you!

Action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his much-anticipated return to the big screen in Korean director Kim Jee-woon’s hard-hitting US directorial debut, THE LAST STAND. After leaving his LAPD narcotics post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with remorse and regret, Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) moved out of Los Angeles and settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction. But that peaceful existence is shattered when Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the western hemisphere, makes a deadly yet spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy. With the help of a fierce band of lawless mercenaries led by the icy Burrell (Peter Stormare), Cortez begins racing towards the US-Mexico border at 250 mph in a specially-outfitted Corvette ZR1 with a hostage in tow.


Arnold Schwarzenegger as Sheriff Ray Owens
Rodrigo Santoro as Deputy Frank Martinez
Zach Gilford as Deputy Jerry Bailey
Forest Whitaker as Agent John Bannister
Genesis Rodriguez as Agent Ellen Richards
Johnny Knoxville as Lewis Dinkum
Jaimie Alexander as Sarah Torrance
Luis Guzmán as Mike Figuerola
Peter Stormare as Burrell
Eduardo Noriega as Gabriel Cortez


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