The Last Stand
Arnold Schwarzenegger's triumphant return to starring in a big action film brings us The Last Stand. After mainly ten years away from starring roles, is it worth the wait? Depends on your mood.
Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) is a former Los Angeles police officer who has resigned himself to the quiet town of Sommerton Junction, Arizona. Trying to leave his past behind, Ray along with his police force: Sarah Torrance, (Jaimie Alexander) Mike Figuerola (Luis Guzman) and Jerry Bailey (Zach Gilford) keep the peace in the quiet town.
During a prison transfer of international drug lord Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), headed by Federal Agent John Bannister, (Forest Whitaker) Cortez escapes from custody and takes Federal Agent Ellen Richards (Genesis Rodriguez) hostage in Cortez's personalized Camaro ZL1. Now, Cortez, with Richards, races his car towards the Mexico border in an attempt to flee. The only thing that stands between Cortez and freedom is Sheriff Owens and the residents of Sommerton Junction.
After a fairly quick setup, The Last Stand dips in terms of pacing. Throughout the middle portion of the film, we alternate between Sheriff Owens beginning to realize something major is happening, Cortez and his amazing car doing amazing (yet unrealistic things) against a plethora of some dumb law enforcement officials and Forest Whitaker sitting around and yelling.
Once all the pieces finally connect, the actual last stand is pretty entertaining, if standard. Arnold Schwarzenegger leads his deputies along with town drunk Frank Martinez (Rodrigo Santoro) and Lewis Dinkum, (Johnny Knoxville) the local crazy man with access to unlimited weapons.
The Last Stand is shot with energy by Kim Ji-woon and all parties involved, with the exception of Forest Whitaker, appear to know the type of film they are in. Schwarzenegger is the lead, but does let the other characters have their moment in the action. The main problem I had with the film is, for a majority of the film, the bad guy is driving in a car. The car is cool and all, I guess, but there is nothing very exciting for the majority of the film involving the main bad guy. Instead we are relegated to Cortez's henchman, Thomas Burrell (Peter Stormare, rocking a special accent) and the hijinks that he and his associates are doing in Sommerton Junction.
This Schwarzenegger film is forgettable but also harmless, which is more than I can say for such films as Collateral Damage and The 6th Day.