Action Movie Fanatix Review: The Last Stand

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Not In His Town.  Not On His Watch.

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnny Knoxville, Forest Whitaker, Eduardo Noriega, Luis Guzman, Jaimie Alexander, Peter Stormare, Rodrigo Santoro, Harry Dean Stanton

Director: Kim Jee-Woon

2013  |  107 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Consider yourself deputized.” – Sheriff Ray Owens

2013 looked like it was bound and determined to be a return to the action movies or yore.  With Stallone, Statham and the returning Schwarzenegger putting out multiple hard R movies it seemed like it was homecoming season for action movie fans and The Last Stand got it all started right.

Sheriff Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger) lives a quiet life in the small town of Sommerton Junction… that is until an escaped drug cartel leader comes screaming through his town in a souped-up Corvette C6 ZR1.  Sheriff Owens and his inexperienced team plan to stay out of the way and let the feds handle it until one of their own is killed in the crossfire.

I’m not exactly a car guy but when I see car porn like this ZR1 flying down the empty desert road, I can’t help but get all jacked up.  The Last Stand does a phenomenal job of making this car just as big of a star as Arnold.

Speaking of THE MAN… He’s back!!!  He’s older, sure, but the guy can still go.  And he delivers one-liners better than anyone.  The great thing about the one-liners in The Last Stand is that they don’t make you feel like groaning every few minutes like The Expendables 2 did.  It’s the same with the how Arnold’s age is treated.  You get a chuckle out of it but then it’s right back to the action.

The supporting cast of Johnny Knoxville and Luis Guzman add to the humor of the movie with Jaimie Alexander and Rodrigo Santoro adding a little something to the badass quotient.  Then we have guys like the always fantastic Forest Whitaker and baddies like Peter Stormare and Eduardo Noriega who just knock their roles out of the park.  It is these three plus the rather high level of violence that keeps The Last Stand from feeling too cheesy.

The Last Stand does a really nice job of bouncing between scenes with great acting and characters and scenes where they let the blood flow.  The Last Stand most certainly earned its R rating.  The shootout throughout the town is an absolute blast but then the final showdown is completely firearm free – which is equally awesome.  I’d say this Kim Jee-Woon character knows what he is doing.  I hope he continues to make movies on this side of the pond.

The Last Stand is truly a modern masterpiece of an action film.  I would rank it up there as one of the very best of the action movies of recent years.  And this is coming from someone who is a bigger Stallone fan than Schwarzenegger fan.  It’s good to see The Arnold back in action after so many years gone.

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