Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in full form with his starring role in the action packed The Last Stand. It’s been nearly a decade since Arnold appeared in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, because while governor of California he only appeared in a couple brief cameos. The most famous of which was his few lines in The Expendables, and Arnold fans were delighted to see the role expanded in last summer’s The Expendables 2. But now Arnold is back in full form with the leading role as retired LAPD Tactical Forces Officer turned small town Sheriff, Ray Owens.
The story is pretty simple. The head of a drug cartel, Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) escapes from federal custody and makes it for the Mexican border in a supped up Corvette C6 ZR1 with FBI on his tail. The only thing between him and the border at the small town is Sheriff Owens and his small group of deputies. It’s a simple story and there are plot holes along the way that you could drive several of those C6 ZR1s through, but that is okay, because that’s not what you go to this movie for.
You go to this movie for an enjoyable couple of hours of fast paced action. Car chases, shootouts, brawls and fights, and of course the trademark Tough Guy Wisdom one-liners that Schwarzenegger is famous for. And the movie definitely delivers! It has all of the above in spades and I enjoyed it immensely. The movie was a lot of fun!
Arnold played the serious and honorable Sheriff excellently, and the supporting cast added to the film’s fun. The movie had the excitement and also the laughs. It also had some graphic violent scenes that earned it the R rating. Arnold Schwarzenegger has never been an actor that people consider for Oscars due to his acting performances, but I found the scenes where he had to be more sentimental and not just a tough guy to be well done. Yes, I even liked him when he wasn’t kicking ass and taking names.
I also really liked Forest Whitaker as FBI Agent John Bannister. I’ve always enjoyed Whitaker and I enjoyed him here too. This was the first movie I’ve seen, and the first I’ve heard of Korean Director Kim Ji-woon, as this was his American debut and I hadn’t seen his Korean films. I liked how he filmed the action and used the comedy with the supporting characters.
Bottom line, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back! He’s a bit older, but he’s still got it. If you enjoyed his earlier action films, you’ll enjoy this one. The ten year hiatus didn’t hurt him, he just got a bit older, and they used that fact well in the film. Can’t wait to see him and Sylvester Stallone later this year in The Tomb.