After brief cameos in films like the Rundown and Expendables, we finally got a glimpse of a possible return to form for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Finally his first full length solo action film is here with The Last Stand. As if this wasn’t exciting enough, add to the mix I Saw The Devil director Jee-woon Kim at the helm, it has the makings of a great comeback.
The Last Stand follows a former LAPD detective who is now the sheriff of a small quiet town and enjoying the peaceful life. When a notorious drug kingpin escapes FBI custody in a supped up corvette the only thing standing between him and the border is this small town and the sheriff who has vowed to protect it. The story here is pretty simple and in anyone else’s hands would have probably been a throw away film. Thankfully Jee-woon Kim brings his signature dynamic style taking this film to a much more entertaining visual level. If there was any concern with Arnold being able to live up to his famous line “I’ll be back” being accurate you can relax because he is back in a big way. This film takes a bit of a step back and moves a bit slowly at first letting the story build a bit instead of just flooding it with action. When the smaller action pieces, if you can call any of them that, do occur they are pretty high octane and fun to watch. All this builds up to a full on blood bath ensuing old west action show down featuring all the explosions, guns, blood and fun you could want in an Arnold film. Make no mistake this is a popcorn action film that harkens back to the old school action films of the 80’s and 90’s when they delivered. The cast is great and each delivers a fun performance featuring Johnny Knoxville who while brief brings some of the funniest moments, Luis Guzman who is right there holding his own, Forest Whitaker, and Peter Stormare. Arnold still delivers his cheesy one-liners like a pro, but has moved on from the usual ones that were starting to run their course. His years in office clearly have made him a better speaker, hence a better actor.
Arnold may not be as fast or agile as he once was, but he still manages to show he can hold his own with the best of them. This film not only gets Arnold back where he belongs on the big screen it also kicks off a movie year that almost feels like the old days of action again with numerous franchise and action icons bringing the pain in 2013. Arnold has always said he would be back and he is better than ever. If you were ever an Arnold fan, then get ready for a film that will spark the visual crazy fun that’s been missing in this genre for a long time.