The Last Stand (2013)

The Last Stand (2013), directed by Jee-Woon Kim, written by Andrew Knauer, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Peter Stormare

After Arnold ended his tenure as a governor of California, the Last Stand was one of his come back vehicles to the movies. Sure, he had been on Stallone's Expendables movies, but those were ensemble vehicles, not something that was leaning on the name of Schwarzenegger or some established brand alone.  This R-rated flick wasn't the comeback he probably had hoped, as it failed to connect with the audiences. nor with the critics either. It wasn't a complete dud, critically, as the aggregated results from Rottentomatoes do give it more fresh (60%) than rotten reviews, but still, it managed to interested the worldwide audiences only in the realm of making around 50 million dollars world wide.

Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) is a sheriff of a little, sleepy town on the border of USA and Mexico. Nothing much happens there until a violent and crazy cartel boss escapes from FBI custody. While Ray is unaware of this, he finds out gunmen from the vicinity of the town and notices that there's a construction work being done over a ravine following the border. He puts one and one together and realises the escaped convict FBI agent Bannister (Whitaker) had informed him earlier is making the run for it through his town.  That's not something he's willing to abide, especially because one of his officers was shot down the criminals, so even stacked against the odds, he's making his last stand in trying to take the criminals out.

As far the story goes, the Last Stand isn't anything spectacular. It's pretty much what you'd expect it to be, a vehicle for action and some gory deaths. But it doesn't matter, really, that the movie itself is simple in story, as it works. The action is good, the direction is good and the humour it has managed to deliver a couple of laughs. It is predictable, but in a good way that makes watching the movie entertaining rather than annoying, as the things you see happening a mile away happen, but at times a bit surprising manner. Not a lot, mind you, but still, the Last Stand manages to have a couple of decent tricks up its sleeve.

So yeah, the Last Stand isn't anything spectacular by any means, but it still shows that Schwarzenegger hasn't lost his onscreen charisma. He still can't pull off playing all American character named Ray Owens, but what he lacks in skill, he still manages to win over with his enormous charisma. Even now he's older his charisma is enough.

If you're Arnold Schwarzenegger fan, or just like unapologetic action movies, that are knowingly a bit silly, the Last Stand isn't a bad choice to make. And if you're doubtful because it has Johnny Knoxville in it, don't be, as his role isn't that big in the end.