A lot has and will be made about the fact that this stars Schwarzenegger. Former Mr Universe and previous Governator of California, his last leading role was the abominable T3: Rise of the Machines. Has the mountain-sized aging man still got what it takes to physically lead in a demanding action role? I certainly think he does, although perhaps he could have picked a better role to showcase this.
In the Last Stand Schwarzenegger plays Sheriff Owens, a big city cop who moves to a sleepy town in order to escape the vigour of the job. Here he is faced by the insurmountable task of defending this quiet corner of America against an escaped Mexican drug lord and his menagerie, who are making a dash for the border straight through the town. Standing along side Sheriff Owens are his daft deputies Luis Guzmán, Jaimie Alexander and Zach Gilford. Incapable of going it alone, they call on the local gun-nut and his unbelievable stash of weaponry, played by Johnny Knoxville, to mount their last stand and uphold the law. This is all just a set up for big action, cheesy one-liners and numerous explosions of the sort that would have Michael Bay filling his boxers with delight.
The Last Stand as a new-style Western seemingly fits the bill well enough. It won’t turn any heads for its script, and it is a nice go by Kim Jee-Woon in directing a very American concept. It is hard to look at an American action movie at the moment without thinking of the current debate about how this fuels real violent behaviour, and really this seems to cut both ways. Knoxville’s character, the seemingly mentally disturbed gun collector finally getting the chance to justify his obsession with stock piling weapons, exemplifies both sides of the argument. The NRA will love it…
Anyway, The Last Stand is a fine action film that can while away just over an hour and a half of your time. If you want to see a movie that won’t engage your brain and won’t offend you, but will allow you to smile at an old face blowing new things up, then this is right up your ally. We enjoyed it immensely. It was a lot of fun, there is plenty to laugh at (and with) and if not, there is enough action and gore to keep you going. It sounded good from the start to be honest, even if we do cringe every time we hear Knoxville’s name attached to something that isn’t Jackass.
The Last Stand is out today in UK cinemas. Once you’ve seen it, share your views with us here or via Twitter.