Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Last Stand: Movie Review

The Governator is reduced to a border-town sheriff but still brandishes some big guns in The Last Stand, Arnold Schwarzenegger's first starring vehicle in 10 years. The title is already a misnomer: The 65-year-old action icon has completed two additional films and has two or three more in the pipeline as he attempts to engineer a viable comeback after his detour through Sacramento. Preoccupied with the the caliber and firepower of its arsenal of artillery to an almost weirdly obsessive degree, this often jokey and sometimes abstract shoot-'em-up also, under present circumstances, makes conspicuously tasteless use of a school bus in one of its most violent scenes

Getting behind the wheel of the 'vette with a female FBI hostage (Genesis Rodriguez) in tow, Cortez zooms across the desert at night, busting blockades and going so fast that he's gone before radar guns can track him, on his way to a secret border crossing near Sheriff Owens' town, sleepy Summerton Junction, Ariz. Learning Cortez is heading his way, Owens enlarges his motley crew, initially consisting of the enthusiastic Figgie (Luis Guzman), the level-headed Sarah (Jaimie Alexander) and the inept Jerry (Zach Gilford), by reluctantly recruiting jailbird Frank (Rodrigo Santoro) and local nut job Lewis (Johnny Knoxville)

In a prolonged gun battle, these down-home characters dispatch Burrell's goons, but not before a big yellow school bus (empty of students, fortunately) becomes the focal point of much of the most intense shooting, which can't help but bring to mind thoughts of the recent tragedy in Connecticut. As Agent Bannister's crew lags far behind their escaped prey, all Owens has to do is wait and the arrogant handsome devil will come to him.

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