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The Last Stand

Arnold Scwartzenegger is back on the big screen, as a real old-time hero - one we have all been missing.
Raffaele Chiarulli | 11 February 2013
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The Last Stand
Director: Kim Jee-Won
Screenplay: Andrew Knauer
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Jaimie Alexander

A dangerous drug dealer eludes the FBI’s repeated arrest attempts. Driving a super car that can reach jet speed, he is heading for the Mexican border with a woman he has kidnapped and is using as a hostage. He is the boss of an army of criminals that is helping to clear the way of any and all obstacles. With a clumsy FBI team chasing him it seems everything is going right for the villain, until he ends up meeting Ray Owens, the sheriff of the quiet town of Sommerton -- the only thing that now stands between the criminal and his freedom.

He’s back.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back on the big screen.

The plot is simple: Ray Owens, a retired cop, has decided to spend his retirement as a sheriff in Sommerton, a quiet town on the Mexican border.It is an ideal place, far from the blood and violence Owens was forced to face every day when he was in service of the Los Angeles Police Department. On his only day off, while almost everyone is out of town to celebrate an important victory of the local football team, it turns out that a big drug ring boss has planned his escape to Mexico – and Sommerton is in his way.

How many times have we seen the retired officer, tired and burdened from his past, forced to dig up the war hatchet once again, making a stand for justice?

After working as Governor of California, Schwarzenegger has returned to the screen much like Sylvester Stallone, who gave fans a nostalgic Rambo experience with his more recent flick, The Expendables.

However, The Last Stand seems to be something more than a simple revival of movies like Commando and Raw Deal. It isn’t just the ironic tone of Schwarzenegger making fun of himself; nor simply the new touch of the competent Korean director Kim Jee-Won. Rather, viewers get a movie where, in our disenchanted and fatalistic age, they can find a real, old-time hero. A hero without doubt or indecision. A hero we all have been missing.

Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) is much less serious than Sylvester Stallone’s most recent John Rambo and not nearly as cynical as Mel Gibson’s character in Get the Gringo. With his irony and his firm sense of justice The Last Stand’s hero stands out as a modern John Wayne, an aged American legend who’s still got it.

While The Last Stand is too violent for children, it is a perfect movie for aficionados. Further, it’s not only the special effects of spectacular killings and explosions that viewers can enjoy, but also the fierce return of a charismatic actor that responds to his enemy with phrases like: “My honor is not for sale”… before punching him in the face.

Problematic elements: scenes of strong violence. 

Raffaele Chiarulli 

This article is published by Raffaele Chiarulli and MercatorNet.com under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

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