Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Aging Arnie still potent

Schwarzenegger plays small-town sheriff with some dignity

  • Print

Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a tentative return to a movie career after eight years governing California at precisely the age most guys are at least contemplating retirement.

But like Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson before him, Arnie isn't hanging up his guns just because he's 65. In fact, this movie contrives a reason for him to shoot very old guns, including a Vickers repeating gun that looks not unlike the weapon of mass destruction utilized at the climax of The Wild Bunch.

It's all a calculated demonstration of he's-still-got-it potency: The gun may be old and a little rusty, but it works just fine, thanks.

Schwarzenegger is Ray Owens, the sheriff of a sleepy town on the border between Arizona and Mexico. He was once a Los Angeles narcotics cop, and he's apparently moved to Sommerton Junction to live out the remainder of his law enforcement career in relative peace.

But it is not to be. A Mexican drug cartel leader named Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) has escaped FBI custody in a souped-up Corvette ZR1 and is heading to Mexico (at speeds exceeding 200 m.p.h.) with a hostage female agent (Genesis Rodriguez) in the passenger seat. Because a deep gorge separates the town from Mexico, the arrogant FBI agent (Forest Whitaker) in pursuit of Cortez readies a small army at the criminal's presumed destination.

But Sommerton's small police force learns something is wrong. Cortez's icy henchman Burrell (Peter Stormare) has arrived in town with his own small army of mercenaries in preparation for Cortez's arrival. It falls on Owens and his outgunned, beleaguered police force to take on the bad guys sporting the latest in assault technology.

That particular aspect of the plot puts Owens at the door of Lewis (Johnny Knoxville), the eccentric proprietor of a "gun museum" (a.k.a. personal arsenal). Lewis can level the playing field if Ray will make him a deputy.

Knoxville's shameless mugging and antic craziness belong in another movie. His presence feels like a prank -- as if the japesters of Jackass had somehow invaded the set of an Arnie movie.

That aside, director Kim Jee-woon (I Saw the Devil) moves things along briskly enough, even if other elements (not just Knoxville) do not integrate into a cohesive action movie. At times, the film is a discordant celebration of those wacky small-town Americans and their guns. Other times, it rips along in fine style.

Mostly, Kim strives mostly to give Schwarzenegger a little dignity, which should be appreciated after his awful self-parodying cameo in The Expendables 2. He keeps his shirt on. His aged face has taken on a little appropriate weathered ruggedness. Even his trademark line is delivered as a low-key "I'll be right back," as if to spare the big guy the heavy lifting of his own iconography.

randall.king@freepress.mb.ca

Other voices

Selected excerpts of reviews of The Last Stand.

 

"The best Hollywood action film in recent memory--and almost certainly the best Schwarzenegger outing since Terminator 2."

-- Calum Marsh, Slant

 

"Shot in New Mexico, the production, unlike the star, has something less than a full-bodied look and lacks any kind of real distinction. It sort of does the job, but just barely."

-- Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

 

"There are filmgoers nostalgic for this sort of fascist/gun fetishist drivel. Not me. Give me Seven Psychopaths any day."

-- Roger Moore, McClatchy Tribune

 

"Kim keeps things moving briskly and the members of the strong supporting cast don't seem to mind that they're playing flimsy types. Everyone's just here for a mindless good time."

-- Christy Lemire, Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 18, 2013 D1

History

Updated on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 10:44 AM CST: replaces photo, adds fact box

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Humans of the Holidays

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google