Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Last Stand

As the border of Mexico becomes the target of the unsavy bunch of new comers to town up to a suspicious deal of whispers and murdering, all the way in Las Vegas an FBI operation to transport drug cartel boss Gabriel Cortez goes horribly wrong and sees him speeding his way into the sunset at the helm of a supped up Chevrolet Corvette. Meanwhile,  Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Sheriff Ray Owens the man at the centre of the small rural town of Sommerton, though he hasn't always been the quaint local sheriff. With a past in the high octane life of an LAPD officer, Sheriff Owens finds some of his former type of customers speeding his way towards Sommerton and organising a welcoming party in the way only Arnie could, a large hail storm of bullets and a side dish of ceremonious explosions followed promptly by some back breaking physical strikes. Sheriff Owens rallies his deputies, makes a stand and awaits the speeding bullet and you can be sure the Sheriff is out to really show who's in charge this time round.

It's been ten years since Arnie's last starring role and yet despite the age, duties of governing California and his immortal enemy time, he actually pulls off his role impressively. Arnie may not be the best actor in Hollywood (his hands grasping an Oscar seem like a very extreme lucid dream) but you can't deny the man has some serious charisma, he's pulled films like Predator and Terminator while both have secondary factors which tide you over arguably more. who could ever mimic his rough charm? I would argue that some of his finest moments come from screaming about cookies, fighting Santa's and infiltrating Pre-Schools to uncover terrorist operations (would Kindergarten Cop be as successful without this Austrian Gladiator crazed antics?). The point being Arnie's mass appeal may have gained some weariness but it's still very much present.  Elsewhere in the cast roster Forest Whitikaer proves he's still the best at pulling shocked and amazed faces this time around as FBI agent John Barisster. While Making up the deputies are Jamie Alexander as Sarah Torrance, showing she has as much action orientation in her as she did when she was an Asgardian warrior in Thor and more alongside the obigulatory comic relief in Johnny Knoxville as local nut-job Lewis Dinkum and Luis Guzman as Mike Figuerola (though at times Knoxville has the strings of comedy straining horribly). On the other side of the spectrum playing the classic Eighties feel villain to Arnie's worn down hero Peter Stormare plays Burell, who's arguably more present and villainous that Eduardo Noregia as the major drug lord Gabriel Cortez(You can't help but feel his character was created with the Fast and Furious audiences is mind, feeling as if he should be racing wheels with Diesel more comfortably than fist fighting).

It's not spectacular, artsy or worthy of any awards but that's not what The Last Stand is about. If you drudges up a Delorean and had the option to relieve a slice of Arnie's hay day with a modern twist, this wouldn't be far from the monster mash up you would create. You can't argue that The Last Stand does entertain as only arnie can Loud, clunky and violence played up with such an over abundance and a sheer dumb lack of realism to add humour. This truly is a piece of uncovered classic eighties/early nineties action and while it for the majority feels like a plain call back and nothing more simply because of the used ammo count scratch the surface and it has even a bit of heart and more to offer. Consider this a metaphor of Arnie and his battle against time itself, in this we see him face the classic villain for the first part Burrell, in which he manages to struggle through but prevail, then he moves on. From Arnie in his highlight he then takes to a war on the new world as a youth in a toyed up super sports car speeds his way to cause even more carnage, Arnie is no old man who shrugs and lets the irresponsible and callous youth escape is he? No. Arnie's Owens takes his own set of wheels and shows he's still got what it takes to keep up with modern action and speed his own way towards a western stand off. In that sense it comes down to whether or not he can prevail against an ever changing world and win, in order to find out you'll have to see the final result for yourself. However as I stated this isn't a perfect film (at times even the dreaded CGI can really take you out of a scene) and while at times it has classic elements of action/comedic timing, others feel poorly placed. Looking at this instead of a classic Schwarzenegger flick and more like a return of an old, slightly crazed long lost family friend, The Last Stand has to be applauded for such a gripping return to form for an action star who actually knows what good action is like.

7  /  10


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