Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Last Stand

Emulating the pace, structure, and widescreen action of many a Western in which an outnumbered band of good guys shoots it out with the bad guys and comes out victorious, The Last Stand is lots of fun. Here, Sheriff Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger), along with four deputies (one of them played by Johnny Knoxville, full of Jackass antics, another a capable female law officer), faces off against an escaped drug lord (Eduardo Noriega) and his army of gunmen, and it all leads to the classic Western shootout in the streets, in this case, in the main street of a small Arizona town called Summerton. Nice suspense is achieved as the gunfight spreads from the barricaded street to rooftops and narrow stairways. The accent is different, but Arnold comes off like the John Wayne of the latter movies of his career. Crabby about getting old, he is full of taciturn swagger as he handles guns and dispatches the scurvy villains (one of them played by Peter Stormare, my favorite scurvy villain) with humorous one-liners. Yeah, it’s a lot of corn (as were most of John Wayne's last Westerns). Indeed, a clever car chase is staged in a field of drying corn. Full of action, the whole thing moves along without a hitch.

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