Thursday, June 13, 2013

Film Review: The Last Stand (2013)

The Last Stand (Review)
United States/2013
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

Small-town Sheriff Ray (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is enjoying his day off, although he briefly investigates two suspicious truckers thinking little of it. Meanwhile, Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), a notorious drug lord, daringly escapes from the FBI in Las Vegas in a modified Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 - traveling at incredible speeds as he aims for Mexico. Sheriff Ray enlists his few deputies and deputizes two more for his last stand.

The Last Stand features a simple yet exciting story masterfully blending strong action sequences and light comedy elements. The action is really the strongest element in the film, and it is very, very powerful. The Last Stand consistently offers edge-of-your-seat chase scenes, blazingly explosive firefights, and a great fistfight scene; and, it seamlessly blends in a few witty one-liners, some hilarious situations, and an eccentrically humorous performance from Johnny Knoxville. The pacing is ferociously fast, something is always going on in this film. It does, however, overstay its welcome by a few minutes and is a bit repetitive - luckily, it ended before this became a serious issue.

The story itself is creative, and I enjoy the concept of a last stand; simply watching the sheriff and his deputies prepare was entertaining, and the execution of their plan was the cherry-on-top - it was explosive and ridiculously violent. The characters have some background and are very likable, and there is one scene works exceptionally in jerking your emotions - it was actually unexpected, but welcomed. The ending of the film is great, it has an intense chase scene, a small game of cat-and-mouse, and surprisingly thrilling fight scene. Finally, Gabriel Cortez is a great villain, a power-hungry drug who has it all and believes he is untouchable; he is a bit underwhelming at times, though, as he is a bit too tamed.

The acting is great from the entire cast. Arnold Schwarzenegger may not be in his prime physically, but he delivers with his one-liners and his charisma; consider this promising performance, a bit more time to get readjusted and he'll be back in tiptop shape. Forrest Whitaker also delivers his dialogue very fluently and realistically, I enjoyed his performance. Johnny Knoxville plays a minor role, just enough to be enjoyable without overstaying his welcome. Really, the entire cast delivers in this film with their likable and believable performances.

South Korean director Kim Ji-woon smoothly directs The Last Stand, continuing his promising career as one of the best; this film sort of reminds me of Mr. Kim's fantastic film, The Good, The Bad, and The Weird. The cinematography is great, everything on screen really comes together. The music compliments the film's story and setting well, really adding to the film's atmosphere and tone. The action sequences are superbly shot and choreographed. The Last Stand is a technically fantastic film.

Overall, The Last Stand is an insanely entertaining film from start to finish. The amazing action and effective comedy really compliment each other, and the film fires on all cylinders always pushing forward. As far as entertainment goes, The Last Stand delivers tenfold. I highly recommend a purchase for fans of the genre, a rental otherwise.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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