Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Last Stand

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or we can make a cake...but the cake is a lie.



The Last Stand – 4 out of 5

When I first saw the trailer for this film, I thought it was composed of deleted scenes and/or abandoned script ideas for an Expendables movie. The gist I got from the trailer was that Arnold Schwarzenegger is too old for this shit but, despite his age, arthritic knees and bad back, he could still kick the ass of any young upstart bringing trouble to his town. I completely expect this movie to be a full-on, out-right embarrassing piece of crap but, shockingly, I really enjoyed it.


Hmmm...it kinda looks like the small town in Thor...

Wait, that's Sif...it is the town from Thor.



"Come on, did he really have to moon us as he's
escaping?"
 After a drug crime-lord escapes the clutches of FBI agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker), the man makes a mad dash to get to a small town on the border where his men (one of them played by the too cool Peter Stormare) have constructed a bridge for his escape into Mexico. However, one thing stands in his way after the FBI’s several attempts to stop him fail…Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) and his ragtag team of inexperienced deputies…and one crazy gun nut (Johnny Knoxville).


Then Harry Dean Stanton arrives and classes that shit up.


While The Last Stand may not be a perfect action film, it still was pretty damn fun to watch. Arnold (or should I type that as “Auhnold” in order to portray his accent in text form?) has shown that his acting skills have not improved over time and, in some cases in the film, have actually regressed to a worse state but is anyone really watching this film for the acting? When I sat down to watch this, I wasn’t thinking, “Boy, I sure hope I get to see Arnold show his caring and friendly side to the folks that make up the population of the town he’s protecting.”


I'm taking bets that he's wearing Crocs in this scene.



"Then he said, 'the Aristocrats.'  Yeah, I don't get it
either."
 In fact, for the most part, the acting all around is passable at best. Even Peter Stormare, one of my top character actors on my "list of top character actors I have a list on," was giving a weak performance—but not so bad that it would have an impact on his standing on my list. Other players in the film pretty much do what they can with what the script gives them. For example, Luis Guzm├ín (another actor on my "top character actors list that I have made a list about to express how much I enjoy their acting list") is a terrific comedic actor who could have done a little more with the humorous side of the film but was all but wasted in this—besides, most of the humor in the film was supplied by Johnny Knoxville who was very entertaining as the gun nut Lewis Dinkum (and that last name sounds like a sex act that is illegal in 48 states).


"Are those two people Dinkuming?"


Weak and passable acting aside, the true meat of the film is the action—there’s no point in playing coy here, that is the ONLY reason to watch this film. Believe it or not, the film doesn’t disappoint in this arena as the action is fast and fun. The bullets fly like every character entered the cheat code for unlimited ammo and the movie was a little bloodier than I have anticipated it to be—but that’s all a good thing because once the last stand shoot-out hits the small town and it’s drug gunners versus small town peace keepers, the movie doesn’t stop delivering entertaining action that is just blood-busting, slug-shooting fun.


Knoxville is dressed how most Anti-Gun Advocates picture gun nuts...
sadly, that's not entirely off with some cases.


There’s no doubt The Last Stand has its issues. I won’t deny it is pretty much a generic action film that’s entire story is built around a massive shootout in the center of a small desert town—hell, the town’s placement even justifies the amount of car chases as the escaping drug boss races down the expanding, sand-banked highways in a car that is in constant danger of traveling through time (thankfully there’s no flux capacitor in the sports car but there’s plenty of overcompensation installed on the damn thing). Arnold also simultaneously proved that he is past his prime but yet, somehow, is still able to sneak a great action film out. That being said, though, he did make the action look fitting for his age and there wasn’t any editing or stunt doubles to make him look in better shape than he was—unlike Stallone’s embarrassing run down the pier in The Expendables…if he wasn’t embarrassed by the fact they had to use editing to make sure he got on that runaway plane in time because his ancient, broken kneecaps can’t propel his body to run anymore, than I will be embarrassed for him.


I had the same look of despair after watching The Expendables.


Yes, Arnold is too old for this shit and, for the most part, they don’t lose track of that. Yes, there were a few instances where you would say, “Shouldn’t that old guy be dead after that?” but they usually come at a point where you are fully invested in the story and are able to suspend disbelief. Sure, the first half of the film had Arnold giving off a performance that made it seem like he never truly understood what acting was but once we get him into the realm that made him the icon we know him to be (here’s a hint, that realm is where bullets fly and people die), he starts to look like an older version of the guy we once saw promise to kill a dude last but it turned out he was only fibbing about that one.


"Make sure you lick ever bullet going into the gun, Johnny."



"Pew pew, I got you."
"No, you didn't."
 The Last Stand isn’t a perfect film and it’s not deep or introspective in anyway. It’s just balls out, popcorn action and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not going to tell an emotionally powerful tale and the drama in the film is of the variety that "someone will pay for what they’ve done" but that’s what makes this film good. There’s was no denying that the action was just a blast to sit through and, maybe—just maybe—the film isn’t worthy of a 4 out of 5 and most likely is a 3 or even a 2 but the movie is never boring and, even ignoring some bad acting, it was pretty fucking entertaining.

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