I’ll be back. That is a phrase that is synonymous with former 80s action star and Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold ruled the box office for almost a decade before moving into politics. After finishing his term as Governor amidst scandal, many wondered if Arnold would be back in theaters. Sure he appeared in The Expendables films, but he had not been in the lead since Terminator 3. That all changes this week when he takes his first leading role since 2003 in The Last Stand.
The Last Stand has Schwarzenegger playing a small town Sheriff in the one stop light, border town of Sommerton. Life is simple in Sommerton, until a notorious drug king pin named Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) breaks out of FBI custody and heads for the border in a modified Corvette ZR1. Sheriff Owens has to rally his inexperienced crew to take on the Cortez’s goons and take a stand against Cortez as he races to cross the border.
Now I have already stated recently in reviews that we are in the “Dead Zone” for movies. Movies that are released at this time tend to have issues on-screen. The Last Stand is no different. The plot is very thin and there is not much for character development. You have your deputies, FBI guys, townspeople and bad guys. Also we are treated once again to the thespian skills of Schwarzenegger as he delivers his choppy and mispronounced dialogue.
The other negative of this film is somewhat personal for me. Sorry other reviewers, I love movies so sometimes I take things to heart. It killed me to see the once physical specimen that was Schwarzenegger in the 80s, only a shell of his former self. Schwarzenegger is very skinny, he hobbles around with a bad knee walk and can’t convey the physical prowess that he once exuded on-screen. Maybe if I would have seen a gradual decline if he had kept acting, the sight of a geriatric Schwarzenegger wouldn’t have hurt the thirteen year old boy living inside of me.
Now it may seem like I disliked this film, but the truth is The Last Stand is quite fun if you take the shoot ’em action movie for what it is. The car chase scenes rival anything in the Fast and the Furious franchise as the Corvette speeds towards the border. The Last Stand also answers the question, who would win in a fight? A Corvette or a Camaro. You get the answer in a cool cornfield chase sequence in the third act.
The action outside the car chases is quite entertaining as well. Peter Stormare leads the goons who take on the sheriff’s compadres on the ground at the border. I won’t be surprised if there is a backlash over the hyper violence that is present in The Last Stand. You get as many bullet to the head shots as you would get in any episode of The Walking Dead during The Last Stand.
Between the car chases and the shoot outs, The Last Stand is actually a fun ride compared to the normal dull cinema we get this time of year. If this movie was out during the summer, I would probably have a different opinion on the film. But since it’s not, I can be a little more generous to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s come back vehicle. Overall I give the campy popcorn flick The Last Stand two and a half potatoes.