Back in the day, the man on the screen was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Whether it was in a high action film, science fiction film, or even comedy, he was one of the few actors that stood out among the rest. Maybe he wasn’t the best at acting, but he knew how to make a movie his own. Then he moved on to be California’s Governor for a while. Not too long ago, he returned to film in “The Expendables 2” where his role was not a center focus, and he wasn’t in the film as much as maybe was advertised. However, his main return onto the silver screen was “The Last Stand”, so the main question on everyone’s mind is, does he still have it?
In this film, Scwartzenegger plays the sheriff of a small town called Sommerton, and his name is Ray Owens. Sheriff Owens is an experienced man that has seen enough bloodshed in his life which led him to this small town, which he loves. When one of the most dangerous drug cartel leaders named Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) escapes from prison, he makes a run for the Mexican border in a fancy sports car. His plan is to cross a bridge in Sommerton. So Sheriff Owens and a group of deputies hold the fort off and fight down Cortez and his men.
Obviously, the story isn’t the best in the world, and the thing is, it is not trying to be. No, the foundation of the story is not developed very much, we don’t know the history of practically any of the characters, and it is predictable for the most part, but what you have to understand and keep in mind is that this is Arnold Schwarzenegger, without him, the movie is absolutely nothing, but with him, the movie is extremely fun and even satisfying. What’s so great about that is that it wasn’t just him or his character that was memorable, but it was everyone that was working under him as well.
Johnny Knoxville and Luis Guzman are both in this film and both are typically these comedic actors whose character you couldn’t really care less about. However, for some reason or other, their characters in this film are so likeable, and you can’t help but to actually root for them. You care about their characters, and you don’t want to see them die in the midst of this attack that is bound to go down. Schwarzenegger has a way in almost every film he stars in of making something his own, and bringing a level of uniqueness to the screen that is absolutely unforgettable, this is one of those roles. To be honest, I also think this is one of his better performances as an actor. No it’s not all that great acting-wise, but it is different than his usual forte in the fact that he is more vulnerable and his caring about the town seems genuine, so for scenes that needed an emotional reaction from him, he was able to portray a believable emotion of sadness, or anger, or satisfaction in his own way, and he does it great.
Make no mistake; this is the triumphant return of Arnold Schwarzenegger into film. It is a great over-the-top action flick that if you are a fan of Arnold will adore. There were scenes in this film where the audience in the theater may applaud, that happened at my theater because it is just one of those movies. It has such a satisfactory feel to it, and in the end it is just great to see one of the greats back in action.
“The Last Stand” came to theaters this Friday, I would highly recommend this film to anyone out for a good action with some comedy thrown in throughout.