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Last Stand, The (DQ)


Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Jaimie Alexander, Eduardo Noriega, Rodrigo Santoro, Genesis Rodriguez, Luis Guzmán, Peter Stormare, Harry Dean Stanton, Christiana Leucas

Director: Kim Jee-Woon

Arnie's back and playing safe in the kind of vehicle for which his fans remember him best. Despite the still-heavy accent, his character is incongruously named Ray Owens, once a tough member of the LA drugs squad, but now settled for the peace and quiet of a small town, Sommerton, on the US side of the Arizona/Mexico border.

Away to the north, Latin-American druglord Cortez (Noriega) escapes captivity with the help of what seems like half an army, as well as a helicopter, and heads for - where else? - Sommerton, where another gang of heavily-armed minions is building him a bridge across the narrow part of a ravine between the States and Mexico.

With him in his flight in a supercharged car, Cortez takes a police hostage (Rodriguez), which seems odd and, as it turns out, with good reason. At the other end of the line, the sheriff and his small collection of deputies discover the murder of an old farmer (Stanton) - Arnie now has to put on his specs to look for clues - and thereby, to their cost, the nest of bridge-builders, cueing a firefight in which one deputy is killed.

Naturally, despite the efforts of FBI chief Whitaker to stop the fugitive, hurtling along the highway in his souped-up 'Zero One' - 'like a psychopath in a Batmobile' - it all comes down to a mass shootout in the one-horse town.

Essentially a rehash of such westerns as Rio Bravo, the film's fast-paced and good fun, with daft dialogue and gun-blasting action, plus an unexpected contribution from a little old lady at the end. Are we meant to take any of this seriously? The presence of Knoxville as a dragooned deputy nuttier than the plot suggests we shouldn't, not for a moment.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Lionsgate. Colour by deluxe.
106 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 22 Jan 2013