Film Review: The Last Stand

The Last Stand

The Last Stand is stand action movie fare. It is entertaining, but also forgettable.

Ray Owens is the sheriff of a small town close to the Mexican border. When the escaped leader of a drug cartel escapes from prison, he speeds towards the border. The sheriff and his small team are the last chance to catch him…

The Last Stand is an enjoyable enough action film. Nevertheless, it offers little in terms of originality. It is not a memorable addition to the action movie sphere, with its tried and tested formula. Once viewers adjust their expectations accordingly, The Last Stand is fun.

The film belongs to the action genre, although western tropes are recognisable. A small town relying on their own rather than outsiders, the sheriff as protagonist and revenge as a driving factor all point to this. In many ways, The Last Stand is a western with machine guns.

The main narrative is fairly run of the mill. The film offers little in the way of twists in the plot or spins on the formula. The antagonist, a dangerous gangster, is one dimensional. The minor sub-plot of romance could easily have been omitted. Dialogue is often naff, but there are some moments of comedy.

Director Kim Jee-Woon injects energy into the action sequences. The Last Stand is unremittingly violent. This is often gratuitous, with a high body count and plenty of blood.

Arnold Schwarzenegger performance is as expected. The Last Stand is exactly the type of movie that viewers would expect him to make his return to features in. Forest Whitaker has little to do in a supporting role, while Johnny Knoxville brings lightness to proceedings.

The Last Stand is suitable viewing for those ‘switch your brain off’ kind of moods. Not a triumph return for Schwarzenegger, but not a terrible one either.

The Last Stand is out on DVD and Blu-Ray from 27th May 2013.

Film Review: Jackass 3D

Jackass 3D offers much the same as before, but this time in three dimensions. The film is as crude as its predecessors, but also as amusing.

Johnny Knoxville and his band of cohorts return for another feature filled with stunts ranging from the dangerous to the disgusting. In between, the gang also prank each other…

The film follows exactly the same formula as the previous two Jackass movies, as well as the original television show. A variety of stunts and gags are depicted. Some of these appear foolish and dangerous, while others are so disgusting they are sure to test gag reflexes.

In terms of amusement, the set pieces have varying degrees of success. The game of beehive tether ball, for example, is pretty amusing, but the sketches where Knoxville dresses up like an old man fall flat. They certainly aren’t the same calibre as similar sketches in the previous films.

Jackass 3D features the same ensemble as before, albeit with a few cameos in particular stunts. The characters are pretty likeable; Knoxville is a natural leader, while Steve-O’s predilection for the revolting has not diminished. Bam Margera’s fears are played upon, as ever, as well as those of his parents.

The main selling point of this new film is that it is filmed in 3D. This is more for gimmick value than enhancing visual effect, however. For the most part, the added dimension is actually not that noticeable. When it is employed, not much is actually gained from it. Someone vomiting is disgusting whether it is shown in two dimensions or three. While this may hold an abject curiosity for some, it adds very little to the overall enjoyment of the movie.

The humour is crass, but it is at times hilarious. Director Jeff Tremaine knows what sells to his audience, and offers this in bucket loads. Although some of the gags aren’t as effective, Jackass 3D will entertain throughout, providing you indulge in the adolescent humour.

Jackass 3D is unlikely to attract many new converts, but should satisfy existing fans. The only drawback of the film is that it fails to offer anything new in terms of content; there is a residual feeling that it has all been done before.