Wednesday, 5 June 2013


Well he did say he’d be back. Arnold Schwarzenegger makes his much-anticipated return to the big screen in The Last Stand, co-starring Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville and Rodrigo Santoro. Of more interest to me is the Hollywood debut of Korean director Kim Jee-Woon, the unmistakable talent behind A Tale of Two Sisters, I Saw the Devil and A Bittersweet Life.

When an ageing Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) swaps the self-destructive streets of L.A. for a sleepy little desert town, little does he know that high-octane action is on its way at 120mph. Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) – the most notorious drug kingpin in the western hemisphere – has just made a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy, and he’s set his sights on Sommerton Junction. 

Kim Jee-Woon has made better films (it's no The Good, the Bad, the Weird) but as a comeback vehicle for Arnie, The Last Stand more than makes up for his ham-fisted attempts at self-deprecation in The Expendables. The Last Stand feels like classic Arnie from the late 80’s, with blistering action, scene stealing henchmen and clunky one-liners aplenty. Kim gets his groove on in the final act with a series of fast paced set pieces heavy on the comedy and the bloodshed. For want of a better phrase, it’s an absolute blast from start to finish. AW

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