“I am the sheriff!“ – Arnold Swartzenegger as Ray Owens
What’s good: The violence and gunplay are so much fun.
What’s not good: It jumps around too much and has poor character development.
What happened: The world will always underestimate you. People will take advantage at every turn and assume that you either can’t or won’t do anything about it. Such ignorance will be their undoing only if you stand up and fight. ‘The Last Stand’ shows what can happen when one man refuses to back down.
Sheriff Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger) just wants peace in his life. His move from the treacherous streets of Los Angeles to a tiny Arizona town is exactly what he needed. Ray is hiding a few secrets of his own though. He hasn’t said anything about what happened that fateful night in LA. Also, his military background makes him tougher than the average cop. Ray’s deputies Figgy (Luis Guzman) and Jerry (Zach Gilford) have never seen any real action before. Their biggest problem is keeping the local oddball Lewis Dinkum (Johnny Knoxville) under control. Ray’s simple life immediately gets complicated when a local farmer goes missing. This sheriff doesn’t want any trouble, but will soon have a major fight on his hands.
Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) is a ruthless and cunning drug lord. His escape from FBI protection is nothing short of spectacular. He has the perfect plan to flee the country and heavily armed soldiers to make it happen. To make matters worse, Cortez has taken FBI Agent Richards (Genesis Rodriguez) hostage. Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) is hot on his trail, but always seems to be one step behind. All that stands in this villain’s way is a small border town patrolled by an unknown sheriff. It is up to Ray to apprehend Cortez and bring him to justice before he leaves the country.
‘The Last Stand’ is an extremely clichéd and unoriginal story, yet so much fun to watch. Easily the coolest moments of the film are the bloody gun battles. Expect to see lots of people take a bullet to the face in this one. There are also enough explosions to satisfy any action movie fan. You are going to laugh a lot at the funny one-liners and jokes too. Arnold definitely shows his age as he painfully lumbers around from scene to scene. The final battle between Ray and Cortez really shows this off. It was still thrilling even though he moved so slowly. This new Arnold movie may have been entertaining, but it had an awful lot of problems. First, it jumps around way too much at the beginning. This made the movie extremely distracting to watch. Showing what was happening to Agent Bannister and Ray concurrently just did not work. Also, the other characters didn’t do enough in this film. Giving them more screen time would have made them feel three dimensional. Rodrigo Santoro and Genesis Rodriguez had two of the more interesting characters in the film. They should have been developed far better than they were. Finally, the main villain sucked. It was a shame to see such a spectacular intro ruined that way. Cortez really didn’t do much until the final moments. Placing him in the middle of the action throughout the movie would have fixed this problem.
Bottom Line: ‘The Last Stand’ is still fun to watch even though it’s not one of Arnold’s best.
Rating: R Run time: 1 hour, 47 minutes
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