THE LAST STAND

Like THE LAST ACTION HERO, this movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger… and bombed. And even more than HERO, it did not deserve to. It’s brisk, funny, unpretentious and thoroughly entertaining, with expertly delivered (in the context of his usual non-acting) Arnold one-liners and a lot of help from a game supporting cast. I’ll ask the same question I asked about another undeserved mega-flop, THE LOVE GURU: What were people expecting? LAST STAND has a solid premise that gives it a dramatic edge from the get-go (an escaped convict’s flight south to Mexico in a souped-up car that races ever closer to Arnold and his posse) and enough comedy to tip us off that the gunplay and violence are more cartoon than carnage. That said, being released just one month after the Sandy Hook massacre, the movie’s gushing blood, including a victim’s head exploding, and an arsenal of weaponry meant for mass killing treated like the coolest of toys might make you squirm a bit. But the emphasis is on fun, not fear; thank Arnold, Johnny Knoxville, Luis Guzman and the too-quickly-dispatched Zach Gilford for that. — Jeff Schultz

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