Cameos aside, it’s been a bit of while since we’ve seen actor-turned-politician-turned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger on our screens, but true to his word the Austrian oak is back with his first leading role in over 10 years, in this cars-meets-western action flick, The Last Stand.

The Last Stand

The Last Stand

Lets be honest here, Arnold’s acting talents were never really stretched back in the days of Commando and Total Recall, and it could be argued that his finest performance was Terminator 2 – a film that dominated the box office and made him a neat $15 million (and with his role featuring a mere 700 words of dialog, that’s rumoured to work out at $21,429 per word).

The Last Stand is a long way from the quality any of those films though. After 10 years of doing politics Arnold is still playing Arnold, and while he may play the part of a solid and incorruptible cop, he is getting a bit less convincing when it comes to the action.

However, The Last Stand nobly acknowledges this on a number of occasions, with a few witty jokes and by giving the Governator’s Ray Owens a team of deputies featuring the likes of Jaimie Alexander, Luis Guzman and Johnny Knoxville.  And with that The Last Stand features enough moments to raise the odd eyebrow during all the action, whilst giving fans of Arnold enough cheers and laughs as he cracks those trademark one liners.

The plot is pretty straight forward. Drug lord Gabriel Cortez (a pretty forgettable Eduardo Noriega) has escaped from jail from Las Vegas and is heading southbound towards Mexico in a sports car.

Part of his route includes the small town of Sommerton, which just so happens to be under the jurisdiction of the noble Sheriff Ray Owens. Refusing to bow down to the thugs, he deputises pretty much anyone in the town who can handle a gun, including locked up Frank Martinez (Rodrigo Santoro) and village idiot and gun nut Lewis Dinkum (Johnny Knoxville).

Along with his good deputies Sarah Torrance (Jaimie Alexander) and Mike Figuerola (Luis Guzman), Ray Owens leads the force in a stand off against the drug lords gang.

Jaimie Alexander and Rodrigo Santoro in The Last Stand

Jaimie Alexander and Rodrigo Santoro in The Last Stand

It may take a little while to get going, but when it does the action sequences are quite entertaining.

Aside from the actual stand off that the film builds up to, highlights include a number of car chases and gun fights, which keep the pace going quite smoothly.

The film also features a good amount of humour, particularly from the locals within Sommerton that are more concerned with their breakfast than they are about their potentially impending doom.

Where the film does falter is with it’s villains, aside from an incredibly underused Peter Stormare (an actor who is never rated high enough in my opinion), the antagonists are largely forgettable.

Frank Martinez just spends the whole film sat in a car, growling and while it’s impressive that he can drive really fast and probably give the whole gang in the Fast and Furious a good run for his money, we don’t actually get to see that much of him nor understand why he is such a formidable opponent of the law.

Never the less, while it may not relive the glory days of Schwarzenegger’s career, The Last Stand ticks all the action boxes and does what it says on the tin. With the car chases, the shoot outs and Arnie’s quips, it’s definitely entertaining enough to warrant a viewing.

Verdict:

[rating=3]

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.