The Last Stand
This morning I went to see Schwarzenegger’s new film, The Last Stand. I have to say that I did like it.
After so long out of the theaters, it did seem odd to hear Arnold’s heavy accent again. Sure, he was in the Expendables 2 and had a moment in E1 but those parts could easily account for him being a foreign mercenary. It was odd to hear a small town sheriff with a heavy Austrian accent. But back in the day, we didn’t think twice about it.
The back story on the characters was scanty. Poorly done. Although, it would be more accurate to say that it felt like more had been done but ended up on the cutting room floor. That said, the part of Agent John Bannister was particularly skimpy and under developed but Forest Whitaker did a good job with what he was given. The most interesting character was probably Lewis Dinkum. Johnny Knoxville seemed to have been channeling a toned down Murdock from the A-team.
You feel like you have entered these people’s lives in the middle and just get a view of one night and day. Who they were before is not explored and who they may become as a result of these events is only hinted at in a few cases. And for the purposes of this film, it works. Except for the fact that I like to know a character’s motivations. All we really know is that one group of people really just wants to keep the town save and get justice for the deaths of two of their own.
The film was filled with a fair number of very funny lines. Everyone should know the line where Schwarzenegger says he is old. It was in every trailer I saw. The action seemed to work around the fact that Arnold is not as young as he once was and not in as good of shape. The final fight scene is choreographed around the fact that Arnold is much bigger than the villain and incorporates mostly wrestling moves, giving the bigger, heavier Schwarzenegger the advantage over the smaller Eduardo Noriega, as his character keeps trying to rush headlong into each move.
Noriega also made a really sexy, if extremely dangerous, bad guy. You almost wish you could have seen more of him outside of the car. The other bad guys were the type of cannon fodder you were happy to see get wasted.
The movie is a fun ride but nothing that sets it ahead of other films. On the other hand, there isn’t a lot to make it a horrible film either. The dialogue could have been written better and Arnold hasn’t gotten the feel for the delivery and timing like he used to have. I blame it on the sheer amount of time he has been off the silver screen. But I think it will come back to him with a little more practice.
I don’t give films a grade because I would then have to create a rubric that I would have to be able to apply to all films. Maybe I will one day, but for now, I’ll just enjoy the shows and say what I like or didn’t like and leave it up to other people to create a grading structure.
This one I like, in a fun Saturday afternoon way. Not great, not horrible, a few weak points but the fun of it over rides those. Just a nice diversion. Of course, if you want to take a look at what IMDB commentators are saying, they have already declared it a major flop and horrible and not worth viewing. Personally, I don’t think it was THAT bad. Like I said, a nice, Saturday afternoon diversion.