A few explosions and a lot of shame
When I was a kid, Arnold Schwarzenegger was one third of a holy trinity which was completed with Bruce Willis and Steven Seagal. I know that I’m forgetting Stallone but he never got to me like those other three. They always tackled trouble and their vicious enemies with a rock face and a hint of a grin. They got hit and sometimes even beaten up, but they never seemed to suffer like I did watching this comeback.
‘The Last Stand’ is truly a shame
MOVIE: The Last Stand
Arnie did a few comebacks in the past, but only in form of short cameos, mostly on ‘The Expendables’ saga produced by his close friend Sylvester Stallone. He was in the midst of his political career (as governor of California) and retired from the big screen. His apparitions, also, were kinda pitiful. Arnie looked stretched (I mean surgically) and pumped up for the movies. The guy is pushing 70 in a couple of years, he is 68, and he is in tremendous state, however is not ‘Conan, The Barbarian’ Arnold. He is an old dude that is in a tuned up physical state. So, while we just watched him in those short appearances we were fine and we even got happy for the guy: ‘Wow, look at the Austrian Oak! He still has it!’
Only that, no, he doesn’t.
‘The Last Stand’ is his first back to lead after the end of his political career. He acted as second wheel of Stallone on the actually not that bad ‘Escape Plan’, but this one is the one were Schwarzenegger comes back full frontal. And it’s a crash and burn.
The plot unravels at the first ten minutes of the almost hour and fifty, and from then it’s just gun blazing in a not a fashionable way.
Arnold is Ray Owens, sheriff of small town Sommerton somewhere near Texas in the border with Mexico. The college football team leaves the town for the weekend and with them the whole town (apparently there’s nothing else to do in this hell hole). While sheriff is having breakfast on the local diner, he overhears two suspicious dudes that happen to be truckers. At the hint they are at something fishy, Owens decides to investigate a little further.
Meanwhile, FBI is organizing a transport for captured Mexican cartel drug-lord Gabriel Cortez (Spanish actor Eduardo Noriega) under complete secrecy. Security measures taken by Agent Bannister (Forest Whitaker k-chi-ing) prove to be insufficient as the drug lord manages to escape in a totally believable manner. A huge magnet that comes out of nowhere lifts the truck that’s transporting him and leaves them on the terrace of a building. Then, they rappel to another neighbor building where he changes clothes and releases a couple of fakes ‘Cortez’ that go out running on different directions for obvious distraction maneuvers. Cortez kidnaps an FBI agent and climbs to a modified Corvette that can go up to a lot of MPH. Why he did that? Because he is a skilled race-car driver. Obviously. And where is he heading? To our beloved Sommerton where FBI agents –and their backdated maps- don’t realize there’s a bridge to Mexico.
One of the truckers, played by Peter Stormare (the ‘American Charles Dance’), is the boss of Cortez muscle and is the one organizing everything when he is discovered as the perpetrator of a murder of the local farmer that has the bridge on his backyard or something.
And then, finally, the hell raises.
Arnold acting poorly.
Cheesy one liners.
Bad acting all over the place.
Johnny Knoxville playing a retard redneck.
The drunk jailed soldier deputized.
The fat Latin-American failing as a comic relief.
Arnold acting poorly (some more).
The ‘Please, return to your political career’
Korean director Kim Jee-Woon is the responsible for the excellent terror movie ‘Tale of Two Sisters’ (if you didn’t see it, go now and do that, my brother and I are still shitting pants) as well of other Asian successes. What happened through his mind when he decided to take on this disaster, I seriously don’t know. The movie is such a train wreck from minute one that it doesn’t even work as a guilty pleasure. It’s painful to look at Arnie struggling with his (scarce) dialogs. He was never good at soliloquising but at least he didn’t failed like at ‘The Last Stand’ where he finds himself separating five words lines in two different sentences: ‘Why did you (breaths) do that?’ The ‘breathing’ part could appear at random places like in a Pokemon Game. A Wild Breath appear!
He is not surrounded from a fine ensemble of actors either. Whitaker is the only one out there that’s trying to pull this shit wagon -probably just for not feeling embarrassed on the premiere- but the tension is non-existent. You never feel like these guys are in danger except for the events of the first act. It’s close to a comedy on moments, with exaggerated and overacted situations that for my already low standards are too damn much.
The soundtrack is awful –I don’t understand how they failed at this too- and internally inconsistent. It jumps from epical tracks to some sort of Mexican traditional compositions that doesn’t work at all.
I saw the IMDB ratings of this movie and are above average (6.4 based on over 100k opinions) and I seriously appreciate the concept of ‘Taste’ and ‘Subjectivity’. Other way I would think that some people just want to see the world burn.