Friday, 25 January 2013

Move Review: The Last Stand

Two words: who cares? Now I'm going write a bunch of other words to explain whether my lapse of good judgement or good taste was a random anomaly or an early sign of a neurological disorder. I admit to sometimes forgetting to take my meds.

Arnold Schwarzenegger remains a curiosity in the world of cinema. I imagine he remains a curiosity in general as an individual who came to America and made it when by all measures of talent one would think he shouldn't have. But this larger than life tank of a man continues to make us look. Why this review? I looked. Now I'm going to tell you not to look.

The plot is about... oh, blah, blah, blah. Who cares? This is an excuse for gratuitous violence, explosions, and lots of automatic weapon fire. See? Only the criminals have automatic weapons. Why else would I need a clip of 100 rounds of armor piercing bullets?

In this genre of movie, we always have the action scenes interspersed with cute bits of humor. We need to chuckle in between our adrenaline rushes. While Johnny Knoxville of Jackass fame is in part Arnie's goofy sidekick, the comedy isn't all that comedic. At one point (it's in the trailer) Schwarzenegger comes crashing through the front door of the local diner. A group on the other side of the counter stare at him then the owner asks, "How are ya, sheriff?" Slowly getting up off the floor, Arnie responds, "Old." Yes, indeed. Arnie is currently punching the clock at 65.

Overall the film is good craftsmanship but the story is nothing exceptional. If you've read any of my reviews, you know I keep stressing over and over again that it is the story which makes a good film. If you have a mediocre story, the best you can hope for is good craftsmanship and good craftsmanship ain't gunna be winning an Oscar anytime soon. A good story also gives us a good premise and a premise is necessary to kick start the whole affair. We have to accept Batman or the Joker isn't going to mean anything. We have to accept paranormal activity, a monster, or a zombie causing virus for the rest of the story to seem real. As with all action movies The Last Stand has your mandatory bad guy who does bad things but in a spectacular fashion which in the end justifies the good guy being that much more of a badass right back atcha. I couldn't help thinking as I watched Mr. Bad Guy seemingly having an endless number of resources to bribe officials, break out of jail, and arrange to escape from the country, why he would carry out the escape in a manner that would alert every law enforcement official and newspaper reporter in the state. Then again, I'm being a stickler for a premise which makes sense.

As of this writing, Rotten Tomatoes is showing the film with a 60% rating; right on the borderline of good and bad. Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars. (Ebert review) Really Rog? You are being pretty generous.

Some curious facts
While Arnie popped up in the Stallone films The Expendables and The Expendables II, this is his first starring role since the 2003 film Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines.

Arnie was governor of California from 2003 to 2011.

Schwarzenegger did not accept his salary of $175,000 per year as governor. (Orange County Register)

Schwarzenegger's worth is estimated to be $300 million. (Celebrity Net Worth) (Other sources are from $200 million to $400 million and even higher. Obviously it's hard to estimate.)

Arnie once said of his fortune, "Money doesn't make you happy. I now have $50m, but I was just as happy when I had $48m." (The Guardian)

Arnold is not divorced. Maria filed for divorce but now over a year and a half later it is still not finalized. (Huffington)

Arnold spent Christmas 2012 with his estranged wife Maria Shriver and his children. He has said he still loves his wife and hopes for a reconciliation. (Mail Online) Speaking to Sweden’s The Aftonbladet earlier this month, Schwarzenegger said that he has "four wonderful children," before catching himself out and saying, after a pause, "Well, actually, I have five."

The star's official height is listed as 6' 2" however there are a number of other sources which peg him at less. These other figures are anywhere from slightly less, 6'1", to quite a bit: 5'10". (Wikipedia) Whatever the case, I am sure with age that Schwarzenegger has shrunk as we all do. Our vertebrae compress slightly over time so we all end up being shorter later on in life. I am not the man I once was.

Final Word
True Arnie fans can't look away. Maybe we all can't look away. No matter what anybody says about the man's talents he has done an admirable job of capturing our attention. Arnold Schwarzenegger is truly a larger than life individual.

As for this film? Nah, I wouldn't bother. It will eventually end up on TV but even then I wouldn't bother. There are zillions of films out there and our lives are finite. We only have so much time on this planet to watch 'em so let's choose wisely because we will never get that time back again.


Rotten Tomatoes: The Last Stand: 60%
There's nothing particularly distinguished about it, but for Schwarzenegger fans The Last Stand provides perfectly undemanding entertainment.

Wikipedia: The Last Stand
The Last Stand is a 2013 action film written by Andrew Knauer and directed by Kim Ji-woon.

official web site: The Last Stand

Wikipedia: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian and American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served two terms as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011.


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