The Last Stand

Posted January 18, 2013 by in


Total Score

2.5/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: action
Director: Jee-woon Kim
MPAA Rating: R
Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eduardo Noriega, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Louis Guzman, Genesis Rodriguez
Length: 107
Release Date: 1/18/2013
Studio: Di Bonaventura Pictures

What We Liked:

funny and exciting last act

What We Disliked:

dull beginning and middle section
What We Thought

Arnold is back.

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article
While The Last Stand is supposedly Schwarzenegger’s first leading role since Terminator 3 back in 2003, it’s closer to an ensemble piece like The Expendables 1 & 2, but with a supporting cast that isn’t nearly as iconic.  Most of the action scenes in the first two acts belong to Eduardo Noriega’s villain, and Schwarzenegger doesn’t do much ass-kicking until the third act. If you’re here for Arnie (who goes through pic with a tired look in his eyes), you might want to stand in line for another movie.
     The story:  Drug lord Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) escapes captivity, taking FBI agent Ellen Richards (Genesis Rodriguez) as a hostage.  Cortez races across the country in a stolen +1000 horsepower Corvette, determined to return to Mexico.  His course will take him through the small town of Summerton, Arizona, home of Sheriff Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger).  Agent John Bannister (Forrest Whitaker) warns Owens that Cortez is on his way, who must make the last stand against the dangerous fugitive.
     The budget for The Last Stand is only $30 million—a small price tag for an action flick these days, or even ten years ago (only in Hollywood…) so special effects won’t be of the caliber of the big-budget Arnie action pic you’re expecting.
     I was nodding off until the final act.  The Last Stand sets itself up as a thriller, with day/time reminders in each scene mimicking a ticking clock counting down until Cortez arrives in Summerton.  But there’s little reason to care about the FBI’s attempts to rescue the hostage because we know little about her, and care even less about her as the film drags on due to a plot twist.  A death in Summerton is also played straight (as if we were that invested), but then the next scene kicks off with the bumbling Summerton deputies contaminating a crime scene, played for laughs.  The juxtaposition makes the somberness of the death (however supposed) smack of insincerity, and the humor of the following scene seem in poor taste (too soon? one might say).
     The Last Stand perks up with an absurdly funny and fairly exciting third act, as Owens and the Summerton deputies make their stand against Cortez and his men.  The deputies have no idea what they’re doing, so there’s a wild spontaneity to the action.  The Last Stand is clever enough to save its big action for the final act, so we walk out on a strong note.  All’s well that ends well, I guess.

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.


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