REVIEW: THE LAST STAND
SYNOPSIS: After leaving his LAPD narcotics post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with remorse and regret, Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) moved out of Los Angeles and settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction. But that peaceful existence is shattered when Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the western hemisphere, makes a deadly yet spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy.
With the help of a fierce band of lawless mercenaries led by the icy Burrell (Peter Stormare), Cortez begins racing towards the US-Mexico border at 250 mph in a specially-outfitted Corvette ZR1 with a hostage in tow. Cortez’ path: straight through Summerton Junction, where the whole of the U.S. law enforcement, including Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) will have their final opportunity to intercept him before the violent fugitive slips across the border forever.
At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately rallies his team and takes the matter into his own hands, setting the stage for a classic showdown.
REVIEW: “Welcome to Sommerton!” exclaims Ray Owens at just the right moment in the heat of battle as once again Arnold Schwarzenegger is on the big screen in a big way. I wonder if the movie makers who decided to put Arnold in front of a camera for the first time had any inkling of how big he was going to be, how much of an influence he has been on modern mainstream cinema, and how much of a movie icon he is. Well, he’s not done yet. I for one have no problem with that because the man can still entertain and be involved in a good action flick . . . case in point, this particular film. I admit I grew up watching Arnold’s movies and enjoyed just about every one, and even I had my doubts about him coming back to the big screen. You know, the whole “he’s too old” and “he’s not as menacing and intimidating as he used to be” bit, but hey, older guys can still make good movies. Look at Sean Connery, Liam Neeson, and George Clooney for instance. They’ve made some pretty good action movies in their more advanced years. (Yeah, I threw in George to see if you were paying attention). So having said that, this was better than I thought it would be. It is somewhat a cookie cutter type action flick but there are cookies with bad ingredients and there are those with good ingredients. This one has good ingredients. It is fast paced and non-stop with awesome cars, great gun play, and a good amount of comic relief. It’s plain ol’ fun . . . bloody fun.
The story we have here is a simple one but it can still entertain. It’s the kind of story that will rely on the film’s action and humor to keep it afloat and this one does a good job with that. An important component to good action sequences is good cinematography and this film does a good job with that too. You are right there, front and center, in the thick of it all. What you usually can’t expect in a movie of this nature is brilliant performances and this one is no different. The cast did a good enough job for a movie of this genre. Arnold with that ever familiar accent can still be a tough guy, he just looks a little more human now with the age. Luis Guzman and Johnny Knoxville contribute well with their jovial selves. Jaimie Alexander and Genesis Rodriguez provide good eye candy for us guys, but Jaimie wins out with a more impressive performance. We also have one of the best supporting actors ever, Peter Stormare, doing what he does best. The most impressive performance is given by, of course, the Oscar winning actor, Forest Whitaker. He was sharp and determined which was a good ingredient to a film like this. Again, these performances are relative to the movie’s genre. But regardless, as you can see, this is a well made movie. Don’t just assume that it’s not that good based on the cover . . . you might be surprised. You just have to go in expecting a simple but oh so fun action movie, then you can enjoy the ride.
By Cine Marcos
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