Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger is no longer a governor, he's decided to reboot his acting career. Picking up right where he left off, there appears to be no shortage of action movies willing to cast The Terminator as their hero. In The Last Stand
, he once again stands up to a gang of thugs in the name of justice.
Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) used to be a narcotics cop in L.A., but he moved to Sommerton Junction for a less exciting law enforcement career as town sheriff. With everyone on a road trip with the high school football team, he finally planned for a day off. But when the leader of a Mexican drug cartel escapes the FBI and appears to be heading Ray's way, his vacation is cut short. What begins as a suspicious exchange in a diner turns into a massive manhunt resulting in several dead police officers and a last ditch effort to prevent the fugitive from crossing the Mexican border.
Schwarzenegger isn't making exactly the sort of action movie he made in the '80s and '90s. The similarities include cheesy, testosterone driven lines related to honor and toughness, big guns and several fire fights. The difference is those same lines that immortalized action heroes now make them nostalgically laughable. In addition, Schwarzenegger's age is evident in his much slower movements. Even he acknowledges it in the film, exhaling "I'm too old for this." But that doesn't stop him from chasing criminals on foot or flying through windows.
This film juxtaposes a ground fight and a car chase. The former takes place in several locations and involves heavy artillery. The latter is a high speed pursuit of a modified Corvette ZR1. With the lights off, it zooms through the night unnoticed at 190 mph. If it sounds too hot to handle, don't worry – there's an explanation for that built into the narrative. On the other hand, the damage the car experiences will make enthusiasts cringe.
One thing can be said about the script: it didn't leave any gaping holes in the story even though there were opportunities to do so. Still, one can't expect too much from a picture that has to invite Johnny Knoxville to its wrap party (except maybe a Jackass style stunt); but it remains fun the whole way through. Whether all the laughs are intentional is debatable, but that doesn't mean it isn't funny.
Director: Jee-woon Kim
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger
, Forest Whitaker
and Johnny Knoxville