I assumed when I pushed “Play Movie” on the Blu-Ray Menu, that I was about to watch a dumb action flick that’s only gimmick was the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Boy, was I wrong! I know you’re going to think I’m talkin’ crazy, but I REALLY liked THE LAST STAND.
 
I kept on turning to my wife in amazement every 20 minutes, reaffirming how much I was digging the movie, expecting it to go south any minute. But it never did. Even she begrudgingly plopped down to watch with me “for a few minutes, before going to bed” and wound up staying up for the entire movie. That alone speaks volumes.
 
Not only was the story clever and fun, but also I cared about the characters (yes, even Arnold) and tonally it was spot on. I expected it to be very jokey and over-the-top and it was neither. The plot is taken seriously and the death and mayhem has real consequences to the characters. What was truly shocking to me is that Arnold plays the sheriff defending his boarder town from a fugitive escaping to Mexico in a very real-world, low-key fashion. He’s playing someone his age and it grounds the character.
 
The movie reminded me of how criminally under-rated the remake of ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 is. That movie just came and went but I’ve watched it at least a half dozen times and it holds up really well, like THE LAST STAND, as a quality popcorn action movie.
 
Now, just so you don’t think I’ve completely gone off the rails, I’m well aware that THE LAST STAND isn’t high cinema. It is what it is. No more, no less. A solid piece of action cinema that is absolutely worth watching if you’re a fan of the genre.

OCTOBER 1, 2013

THE LAST STAND (2012)