The Last Stand

Year: 2013
Production Co: Di Bonaventura Pictures
Studio: Lionsgate
Director: Jee-woon Kim
Producer: Lorenzo Di Bonaventura
Writer: Andrew Knauer/Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnny Knoexville, Luis Guzman, Eduardo Noriega, Forest Whitaker, Peter Stormare, Harry Dean Stanton, Jaimie Alexander, Genesis Rodriguez

What's wrong with The Last Stand? Everything you need to know is in the final fight, the hero and villain facing off on a steel bridge above a deep ravine for the titanic struggle that's going to decide their fate.

Or, if you're a 65 year old former politician, it means you roll around on the ground with a weedy Mexican guy who looks like he couldn't hit a bull in the arse with handful of fried rice, not throwing a single punch but holding each other tenderly and grunting like they're making love.

You know the moment from the trailer where Arnie sits up and says 'old' after asked how he feels following a dive through a glass door? The whole movie is that moment writ large. Schwarzenegger is old. He's tired. And he looks kind of bored – maybe all the movies he's got lined up now in his post-political career are just to pay for Maria's divorce settlement before he can retire.

In another strike against the big guy, here's something I'd forgotten in the ensuing decade since he graced screens – Schwarzenegger can't act for shit. James Cameron was the first director to realise he was only effective walking around with a weapon and a scowl, not changing expression or saying anything.

How an Austrian ended up the American sheriff of a flyspeck small town on the Mexican border is never explained, but Ray (Schwarzenegger) lives a quiet life wrangling his doltish deputies. When a gang springs a drug kingpin (Noriega) during a prisoner transfer in Vegas, he makes a break in a supercar that can outrun anything with the FBI in hot pursuit.

When they realise he's going to pass right through Flyspeck, Schwarzeneggerville, the hulk-like sheriff and his motley band are the last line of defense to stop him before he's lost forever.

It doesn't make the mistake of shying away from bloodshed or violence (if it did it'd be even more asinine) but the caricatures rather than characters (misfit local who ends up saving the day in Johnny Knoxville, inexplicably hot female deputy) make it an effort in paint-by-numbers action genre cinema.

But you might protest because that's what Schwarzenegger used to do best. Fair point, but back then he didn't look like he might nod off with a crocheted blanket over his knees and a cup of Horlicks in his hand in the middle of a gun battle.

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