Wednesday, January 30, 2013

He Be Back!

The Last Stand  (Lionsgate, 2013)

Before the Camera:

Arnold Schwarzenegger  (Raw Deal)
Forest Whitaker  (TAG - The Assassination Game)
Eduardo Noriega  (Vantage Point)
Jaimie Alexander  (Thor)
Peter Stormare  (Fargo)
Luis Guzman  (Boogie Nights)
Zach Gilford  (Rise: Blood Hunter)
Sonny Landham  (Predator)
Harry Dean Stanton  (Alien)
Rodrigo Santoro  (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle)
Christiana Leucas  (Hollywood Whores)
Johnny Knoxville  (Grand Theft Parsons)
Lewis Dinkum

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Jee-Woon Kim

Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Edward Fee, Miky Lee, Michael Paseornek, Hernany Perla, Linda Pianigiani, John Sacchi, and Guy Riedel    

Written by Andrew Knauer

After serving as California’s governor for seven or eight years, we finally get Arnold Schwarzenegger back where he belongs – back on the Big Screen kicking tush as an aging but still formidable Action Star! In this new flick Ah-nuld plays Ray Owens, a small town sheriff in the Southwest town of Somerton. His accent is never mentioned, but there is one throwaway line acknowledging his immigrant status. Of course that doesn’t explain that whitebread American moniker he’s carrying, but let’s not get bogged down.

Ray and his deputies, including Alexander, Gilford, and Guzman keep the peace in the kind of Southwestern town where the only gunshots are either blanks starting the local track meet, or town eccentric Dinkum (Knoxville in a smaller role than the trailers imply) shooting off something from his gun collection at a side of beef. Then one morning Ray gets suspicious of trucker Peter Stormare and his pal at the local diner – because, well, he’s Peter Stormare, and as the saying goes: Peter Stormare always plays a good guy said no one ever. As Ray and his crew conduct a somewhat laconic investigation, trouble begins brewing on two fronts: in Las Vegas, Columbian drug lord Cortez (Noriega) escapes the custody of FBI agent Whitaker and is soon flying across the desert towards Mexico in an incredibly fast stolen prototype car; and Stormare and his crew take over the farm of Somerton farmer Stanton, working on something at the edge of his property, which is on the Mexican border. Eventually Schwarzenegger realizes he’s in a 21st century variation on Rio Bravo – in that classic John Wayne flick the Duke and his deputies have bad guy Claude Akins in jail and have to hold off the baddie’s brothers, who come to town to break their baby brother out. Here, the bad guy is going to be coming through his town on his way South of the Border, and Sheriff Ray only has the help of his deputies to stop the incredibly well armed Cortez cartel confederates from tearing Somerton a new one.

"Dem dat school lonch lady - I tohd her no mystery meat! Run for da school bos!"

I’ve always liked Schwarzenegger onscreen – with just about all of his movies coming across the entertainment finish line for me. There’s nothing earth shattering or ground breaking here – what we have is a good old fashioned meat and potatoes action flick, with guns a blazin’; fists a flyin’; and stuff blowin’ up real good. Arnold looks pretty danged good for 65, though the years do take a toll on his movement, as one early scene where he visits the town diner (where he gets suspicious of Stormare, actually) Arnold moves stiffly, as though his knees are working against him. Otherwise he gets around well, and any stunt doubling is well handled, not standing out as glaringly obvious.
Guzman, Knoxville, Schwazenegger and Alexander.

Stormare and Noriega serve as the two fronts of the bad guy camp. Stormare overacts a bit, as he always does; Noriega is okay as the main villain – his youthful arrogance serving fairly well against the seasoned Schwarzenegger. I might have enjoyed a different actor in that role more, though. It might have been cool to have seen Danny Trejo playing the character – though he might be sticking to his new found good guy status more now. Guzman is funny playing his standard issue Grumbly Gus; and Knoxville goes all out as the gun toting goofball, and he even gets in a couple of bits where it seems he’s bringing his Jackass talents for risking life and limb to bear putting himself through some painful paces. Director Jee-Woon Kim acquits himself pretty well, keeping things mostly moving – though there are a couple of slow spots in the middle of the movie. Basically, this one is what it is. Either you’re interested in seeing an 80’s icon back in the action saddle 20+ years later, or you aren’t – there’s not really any middle ground on this one. If you like the idea of hearing some tough guy talk in that trademark Austrian accent – I definitely give this a recommendation. If you prefer your action heroes a little less weathered you might want to hang on for the next action flick to stop at the station.

Let's Get Out of Here ?

Rodrigo Santoro says it very roughly about an hour into the movie - apparently no longer wanting to be near the school bus.

Eye Candy ?

Jaimie Alexander is already on the list - which is good as this film wouldn't have gotten her there.

but we will add one other this time out:

Hello Christine Leucas!

Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says: "The Last Stand is one of the finest action
movies starring a former California governor I've ever seen!"

Thank you sir. And until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. Thanks for the review, Craig! I still love his action films of the 80's. I guess because of that I'll always lean towards his films up until the present.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Mark! I have to agree with you - as long as he keeps making 'em, I'll keep watching 'em! Cheers!

  2. I like an action movie that keeps things moving. Arnie is back!

    1. He is indeed Maurice! Thanks for coming by - always cool to see you!

  3. Yay for Arnie!! Sooo excited. Starts here in Austria this weekend! *woohoo*

    1. I hope you enjoy it! Since it won't qualify for the Horror Movie Diary - feel free to come back here and comment a review!

    2. saw it last week and I highly enjoyed. Badass oldschool action with tons of terrific one-liners and a wonderful cast. Loved Arnie, Guzman and Whitaker's performances. Top notch cinema entertainment!! :-)

  4. I love Arnold. His acting is not the best (no Daniel Day-Lewis here), but he is so compelling to watch! And the versatility of his roles is insane...anything from a nerdy scientist, to a loving father, to a killer robot...oh yeah! My favorite Arnold movie is Terminator. Always will be. Not the sequels. The original. "I'll be back!"

    1. Luana - I love the original Terminator movie too - but I have much love for the second and third movies as well. (The fourth can go take a flying leap).