After a 10-year hiatus, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the big screen was everything that we hoped it would be! Action movies often focus on the explosions and leave us devoid of emotion, but “The Last Stand” puts the violence into the context of a situation that matter to us. I was really impressed with this script. The writers did a really great job of developing the characters so that I truly cared about the town of Sommerton Junction and its citizens. Schwarzenegger plays the “High Noon”-esque lawman who decides to protect his town instead of yielding to the bad guys. I never expected this to become one of my favorite of his roles. The cast list is a bit deceptive, listing Forest Whitaker and Johnny Knoxville at the top even though their roles are much smaller than Jaimie Alexander, Luis Guzmán, and Eduardo Noriega. The latter actors deserve more credit as they build our compassion toward the small town and distaste for the villain. The action is spot on with over-the-top explosions and shootouts that don’t extend beyond reasonability. The story has a bunch of twists, a great car chase, and the showdown that we all want. There was actually probably only one thing that rubbed me the wrong way. “This film was brought to you by Chevrolet…” The product placement was a bit strong and took me out of the moment a few times even though I tried to ignore it. Regardless, “The Last Stand” exceeds the level of acting and storyline that typifies the action genre and I will definitely be watching this one again.
[Pictured: Schwarzenegger proves that he isn't too old to be an action hero]