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The Last Stand - Review Roundup

Review roundup last stand


The Last Stand is an interesting name for a film that is Arnold Schwarzenegger's first starring role since 2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. During the hiatus, he had some bit parts in The Expendables movies, Jackie Chan's "Around the World in 80 Days", and oh yea, as the Governor of the State of California. Now he plays a Sheriff (quite the demotion, don't ya think?) who teams up with a crazy jackass (Johnny Knoxville) who runs an old gun museum and the FBI (led by Forest Whitaker) to defy a drug cartel. Naturally, they use all sorts of crazy weapons from the gun museum and the movie essentially consists of Arnold blowing people to goopy smithereens with shotguns and what have you. There are also some car chases and explosions.

The reviews for this film are shockingly mixed. Roger Ebert, who is probably the most famous film critic working today, gave it a high score, along with the AP critic. Everyone else seemed to either hate the movie, or take it for what it is- mindless, violent entertainment, which is not anything special, but not a bad watch.

Check out the reviews below and add your own in the comments section!

Loved It

Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times

Score: 3 out of 4 stars
Excerpt: you've got violent-movie fatigue, and you're too exhausted from real-life carnage on the news to enjoy an R-rated blood-fest in which a number of kills are executed as deliberately funny visual punchlines, you do not want to go anywhere near this film. But if you're a fan of stylish, relentlessly loud shootouts, questionable plot developments be damned, this is your ticket to weekend escapism.

Christy Lemire - Associated Press

Score: 3 out of 4 stars
Excerpt: The shootouts and showdowns are muscular, high-energy and consist of an insane amount of gunfire, although there are some bursts of squirm-inducing, creative carnage. Much of the hand-to-hand combat is shot and edited in a way to obscure what Schwarzenegger is actually doing while creating the illusion that he’s kicking all kinds of butt. Far more effective is a clever, intimate car chase through a cornfield that’s alternately thrilling and quietly suspenseful.

Thought It Was Okay

Sara Stewart - New York Post

Score: 2 out of 4 stars
Excerpt: Sure, violence in movies isn’t violence in real life. And when you combine it with intelligent dialogue and pointed social commentary (a la “Django Unchained”), it can be cathartic. But “The Last Stand,” absent either of these things, just seems to want to gin up a lot of high-fiving for a lot of shooting, and right now is the least palatable time I can think of for that.

Neil Genzlinger - New York Times

Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Excerpt: During a delicious 60 seconds or so in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new movie, “The Last Stand,” two bad guys are dispatched to their eternal punishment in memorable fashion. It may say something about Mr. Schwarzenegger’s post-gubernatorial future in action movies that he is not the trigger man in either killing.

Mark Olsen - L.A. Times

Score: 3 out of 5 stars
Excerpt: Johnny Knoxville offers comic relief as the goofball proprietor of a back-road gun museum, which conveniently allows for an odd assortment of weapons to be used in the climactic battle. It's that kind of movie.

Steven Rea - Philadelphia Enquirer

Score: 2 out of 4 stars
Excerpt: Directed by Kim Jee-woon, the South Korean hitmaker making his U.S. debut, The Last Stand allows Schwarzenegger and company plenty of time to exhange pleasantries, and the occasional profundity ("Death is waiting for you in the kitchen when you get up in the middle of the night for a glass of milk" - really!).

Peter Howell - Toronto Star

Score: 2 out of 4 stars
Excerpt: For some bizarre reason, the ultra-violent shoot ’em up The Last Stand has an onscreen timeline. All we really need is a calendar indicating that the month is January. This is the time of the year when under-nourished genre movies and other films that are not being remotely considered for Oscars are dumped upon a slumbering populace.

Hated It

Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News

Score: 2 out of 5 stars
Excerpt: Some of this is amusing, some of it absurd (he righteously declares, “My honor is not for sale”). Most likely, it will all be embraced. After all, Americans love a comeback story. Especially when it includes cool car chases and wry one-liners.

Stephanie Merry - Washington Post

Score: 1 out of 4 stars
Excerpt: Given the aggressive predictability of “The Last Stand,” Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first starring vehicle in nearly a decade, it would be fitting to begin this review with some derivative “I’ll be back” joke. That’s the thing about this corpse pileup of an action movie. It persistently tries to drag the audience down to its mindless level.

Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle

Score: 1 out of 5 stars
Excerpt: "The Last Stand" is the movie equivalent of an idiot who, to avoid scorn, starts acting like an even bigger idiot, so as to get in on the joke, too. It's an action drama about a ruthless drug cartel kingpin on the run from the law, but it's also an action comedy that gets laughs, for example, from an old lady shooting a guy. It takes everything and nothing seriously, depending on what the filmmakers think they can get away with at any given moment, and the result, while not painful to watch, is ridiculous.


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