Arnold Schwarzenegger has returned for the first time in ten years in a Action film lead role with ‘THE LAST STAND’. Walking into this film I was rather excited by the prospect that Kim Ji-Woon was making his English language directorial debut following on from his Korean films of ‘The Good, The Bad And The Weird’ and ‘I Saw The Devil’, both of which I liked a lot, impractically ‘Weird’ as I loved its pulpiness and play on classic Western mythology. And with the film being marketed as a modern spin on this, and the fact that Ji-Woon was signed to direct Schwarzenegger’s return I got rather excited by the idea (that and Lorenzo DiBonaventura was producing so you knew it was going to be HUGE in scale).
Now while i did enjoy the film, to me the biggest complaint it just how normal it feels. Yes (again) there is a play on the idea it’s a contemporary Western film, with Arnie being the Sheriff stopping the bad guys coming through town to make the Mexican border, but when Arnie the Sheriff is not on screen the film seems to come to a holt as its more concerned about Forest Whitaker in a office half the time, which also stops any character development of any of Arnie’s sidekicks. This includes Jaimie Alexander, Luiz Gusman (playing the same role form ‘Arthur’ and ‘Journey 2’), and someone who is criminally underused and not seen much of is Johnny Knoxville (playing his ‘Walking Tall’ character) which because of less screen time, you don’t give a crap about them. That and while there is (what I would call) ”comic book” violence in it, lacks any said pulpness which Ji-Woon had in ‘the Weird’ and I was looking forward to.
Not that I’m saying it’s a terrible there still is a lot of fun to be had with it, but afterwards you just think maybe there could have utilised the set up better, as its just terrible ordinary and just plods along. And with the fact this is Arnie’s return flick I thought he might of wanted something which would have stuck out more. Still though so far this year, this is still the best Action film I have seen, even if it doesn’t fully replicate the joy and love of 1980’s and 19990’s Action cinema which I grew up on.