"The Last Stand" is likely just the beginning for aging strongman Arnold Schwarzenegger.
At 65, he has left the California governor's mansion and returned to his Hollywood roots as the star of Kim Jee-Woon's "The Last Stand." He plays Sheriff Ray Owens, who has moved from LA to a small, laid-back border town.
Most of the town's residents have left to attend an out-of-town football game--just as the sheriff learns that a Mexican drug kingpin has broken out of prison and is heading for the border. Right through the sheriff's town.
So it's Sheriff vs. Bad Guys, just as it was in "High Noon." It's a classic Western setup, with predictable outcomes. But way way more violent. Practically everything that can be shot, is shot. Here's what the critics are saying:
A very welcome respite from the "Jason Bourne-ing" of most action films released nowadays, The Last Stand is a proudly over-the-top, shamelessly violent and frequently funny mash-up of high-octane shoot-'em-up and conventional western. It marks the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger to leading man status, but almost just as importantly, announces the arrival - to American audiences, anyway - of the supremely talented Korean director Kim Jee-Woon, who juices up some very old-school ideas and set-pieces with his wildly kinetic style. The Last Stand is a must for those who have eagerly been awaiting Arnold's return, and a "probably should" for those of you who are looking for an action film that offers crazy fun as opposed to gritty realism. Eric Walkulski
Sometimes, all you want is a knock-down, guns-blazing approximation of an old-style western, even if it's set in contemporary times. As a modern oater, The Last Stand is shamelessly entertaining. As guilty pleasures go, this one is relatively defensible. Directed by Korean émigré Kim Jee-woon, it's a 21st-century take on a story that was old hat when it was new hat 60 years ago, when they called it High Noon.—Marshall Fine, Huffington Post
No one was expecting former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the big screen to be a collaboration with Whit Stillman or Lars Von Trier. But even by the big, loud standards of a big, loud Schwarzenegger movie, “The Last Stand” feels like a succession of pitches that never amount to a script.
One minute, it’s a high-speed chase movie, lovingly showing off the Corvette 01, and then it’s a heavily-armed showdown with a bunch of faceless goons. Sometimes the movie avoids credulity and operates with tongue firmly in cheek, but then we’re supposed to actually care when one minor character dies and another one gets a shot at redemption. Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
The shootouts and showdowns are muscular, high-energy and consist of an insane amount of gunfire, although there are some bursts of squirm-inducing, creative carnage.
Much of the hand-to-hand combat is shot and edited in a way to obscure what Arnold is actually doing while creating the illusion that he's kicking all kinds of butt. Far more effective is a clever, intimate car chase through a cornfield that's thrilling and suspenseful.
That this scrappy band of underdogs can take out the more technologically advanced villain and his crew should come as no surprise. It's as predictable as Arnold saying he'll be back, and making good on that. Christy LeMire, Associated Press
The Last Stand is playing at Beechwood Stadium Cinemas 11 and at Carmike Cinemas 12. It's rated R for violence and language and runs 107 minutes. In addition to the ex-governor, the movie stars Arron Shiver, Forest Whitaker, Luis Guzman, Eduardo Noriega, Johnny Knoxville, Eduardo Noriega, Peter Stormare and Harry Dean Stanton, among others.
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