Against my perhaps better judgment as both a film critic and longtime resident of the state of California, I find myself prone to proclaiming Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand a more than passably watchable movie.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t in the league of Argo or even The Hobbit which is a made-for-the-masses action flick with a brain. But it is hella better than the last travesty that Schwarzenegger appeared in (The Expendables 2) and it makes us only want to gently poke ourselves in the eye when we conjure visions of him in the California Governor’s Mansion that he once occupied (before leaving the state in tatters with a massive budget shortfall and a crippled economy. But I digress).
Schwarzenegger plays (and I use that term loosely) Sheriff Owens, a one-time LAPD cop who has had to resign himself to patrolling petty crimes in a sleepy California shanty town after a botched operation that ruined everything except his ability to make serious things sound hilarious in an Austrian accent. I say “loosely” because, like all movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is playing Arnold Schwarzenegger. Daniel Day Lewis he ain’t. He ain’t even Zac Efron.
But lucky for him he only has to battle the world’s most wanted drug lord who has escaped the FBI and now wants to get back in the drug game. You can guess what happens after.
Mercifully, Schwarzenegger is only called upon to deliver a very small number of lines and he gets to spend most of the movie doing what audiences like to watch him doing: shooting supersize guns out of the back of Hummers and beating up bad guys by the dozens. It’s all slick and slightly ironic, mostly because he’s pushing 60 (70?) now and he doesn’t mind the numerous jokes at his expense, many of them in Spanish. Hey, if Bruce Willis can handle the baldy jokes, it’s nice to know that Schwarzenegger knows he’s a rumpled piece of old man flap who still juices up too much.
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