Is The Last Stand the last action film for Arnold Schwarzenegger? Probably not (in fact, he’s teaming up with Sly Stallone for Escape Plan, due out in September), but Arnie’s return to top lining a film for the first time in nearly a decade was a huge bust when in hit theatres earlier this year. Turns out, audiences didn’t want to see the once and future Conan playing his age as a sheriff in a small town who has to take down the leader of a drug cartel. Reviews were surprisingly strong for the film and for Schwarzenegger himself but, much like Stallone’s Bullet To The Head, audiences just weren’t interested. I’m guessing that The Last Stand will find an audience on DVD.
And it really should. When it comes to action flicks, The Last Stand is as good as it gets. Director Jee Woon-Kim gives us some hammy characters, lots of explosions, some one-liners – really, what more can you ask for? Schwarzenegger is solid as the Sheriff in a town forced to take on some notorious bad guys. Credit to Arnold for not shying away from the fact that he’s older – it’s in the way that he walks, and in the lines in his face. There’s a real weariness to his performance, which is honestly one of his best ever.
It also helps that Arnold is surrounded by solid actors, including Forest Whitaker, Luis Guzman and Peter Storemare. There’s even a Harry Dean Stanton cameo, looking as if he just rolled off the set of Marvel’s The Avengers.
The Last Stand deserves a wider audience – if you love old school and honest action flicks, and if you ever enjoyed a Schwarzenegger film, definitely check this one out.