Movie review: The Last Stand (M)

FOR some it has been a long 10 years in politics.

But for Arnold Schwarzenegger fans, that same 10 years has seemed longer.

In 2003, Schwarzenegger was elected as the governor of California. 

It was also the year of his last lead role in a film, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

He appeared in others during his time in office but they were minor roles or part of an ensemble cast (mainly in The Expendables).

In The Last Stand, it seems Arnie is ready to accept that his 66-year-old body can’t take the same damage and physical toll that a Termintor can.

In the film, Arnie plays ageing sheriff Ray Owens. 

Ray heads up a four-man team in the sleepy town of Sommerton Junction.

On what is supposed to be his day off, Ray becomes suspicious of some truck drivers, has to deal with a murder and chases down the fugitive leader of a Mexican drug cartel.

If this sounds like a formula for a classic action flick, then you’d be right.

There is nothing surprising about the plot of The Last Stand, but there is also nothing unenjoyable about it.

The film, which is directed by mostly unknown director Jee-woon Kim, unfolds exactly as it should.

Sheriff Owens gathers his rag-tag crew of deputies to defend the town from fugitive Gabriel Cortez as FBI agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) also pursues Cortez from Las Vegas.

The deputies drive most of the sub-plot in The Last Stand while Arnie is busy chasing, fighting and shooting his way to the final stand off.

Daredevil Johnny Knoxville gets a few laughs as the gun-loving amateur deputy Dinkum while Rodrigo Santoro, Jaimie Alexander and Luiz Guzman all take up roles to defend the town.

Santoro and Guzman are probably the most recognisable deputies. 

Santoro was in Love, Actually while Guzman has appeared in a wide range of Hollywood films over many years.

It is clear from the trailer that The Last Stand has a very specific demographic.

The film goes after audiences who love a predictable gunfight that is filled with a couple of headshots, some red mist and dorky catchphrases from affable characters.

Schwarzenegger shows he can still move about and take control of a firefight but the basic script doesn’t let him expand his acting talent at all.

That said, a underdone script and a massive gunfight are both necessities in any stereotypical action film.

The Last Stand is the sort of film that lets boys while away a couple of explosion-filled hours while girls think about what romantic comedy will be out in time for the next date night.

It is far from the best action film made but also far from the worst.

The Verdict: 2½ stars.

- The Last Stand (M) is now showing at Bendigo Cinemas.

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