The Last Stand
"The Last Stand" is far from an original. An Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle disguised in the fly new getup of a "Fast & Furious" rip-off, it’s a 2-for-1 of tired action tropes. He plays the sheriff of a sleepy border town in Texas who has a Mexican drug baron, outfitted with a professional stock car, speeding directly toward him, with the FBI following close behind.
But South Korean director Jeewoon Kim finds a new spark at the end of this old flint. He inflects every moment with his Looney Toons sensibility; and casts veteran character performers like Harry Dean Stanton and Peter Stromare in tiny roles. It may not be profound, but this shoot-em-up procedural doesn’t bore for a second.
As such, the extras are hardly an integral part of the experience: a couple of behind-the-scenes featurettes, a collection of wisely deleted scenes (there’s a few, but this incredibly slight sprint already feels overlong at 105 minutes,) as well as some extended scenes (mainly bits of repetitive expository dialogue.)
Without Jeewoon, this affair likely would’ve lived up to its title: a last-gasp reach for relevance by the Governator; an attempt to return to the type of film his audience has left behind in favor of spandex and S.H.I.E.L.D. And the box office returns may suggest that, indeed, his time has past.
But thanks to the irrepressible energy Jeewoon brings behind the camera -- from the glee he creates on Johnnie Knoxville’s face to the glee he induces in himself with explosions and the hurtling body parts that follow him -- invigorates to an inexhaustible extent. This won’t be the last time Arnold is "back," but it’s almost certainly going to be the last time we see him having so much fun.
"The Last Stand"