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.