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Arnold Schwarzenegger
Rodrigo Santoro
Jaimie Alexander
Peter Stomare
Harry Dean Stanton
Jonny Knoxville
Forest Whitaker
Genesis Rodriguez
Luis Guzmán.
Kim Jee-woon.
Andrew Knauer.
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107 minutes

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The Last Stand
The Alamo? Try the Arniemo

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A crafty cartel boss (Noriega) busts out of FBI custody and heads for the Mexican border. There’s only one man that can thwart his plan to cross over near the town of Sommerton: its pencil-pushing sheriff (Schwarzenegger).

The Last Stand
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And… he’s back. With The Last Stand, precisely one decade on from his last star vehicle (Terminator 3), Arnold Schwarzenegger is finally reset to Action Man mode. But with less swagger than you might expect. Rather than being triumphantly Arnie-centric, large swathes of the movie are entirely Governor-free, as diabolical Mexican gangster Martinez (Eduardo Noriega) runs rings around Forest Whitaker and his FBI manhunters. Even in the border town of Sommerton, where Martinez is heading in a ludicrously zippy Corvette ZR1, Schwarzenegger is just one cog in a sprawling ensemble that includes Luis Guzmán as deputy ‘Figgy’, Johnny Knoxville as samurai-helmeted gun-nut ‘Dinkum’ (the movie’s Radagast, and less annoying than promo materials threatened), and Harry Dean Stanton as an ornery farmer.

It’s corny, lowbrow fun — High Noon rebooted in Hasta-La-VistaVision. But the first hour’s toggling between the villain’s Fast Five-ish vehicular machinations and events in Sommerton only highlights the yawniness of the latter. For a long time, Schwarzenegger’s stiff-necked sheriff Ray Owens saunters around saying things like, “Should be a quiet weekend,” and putting on reading glasses to signify that he’s old (in case you miss this, he also has the line, “I’m old”). The star, always most natural when thrust into unnatural scenarios, is creaky in these prosaic scenes. And it doesn’t help that he’s interacting with characters thinner than Taylor Swift: a war-veteran boozer in need of redemption, a tenderfoot deputy, a perky diner waitress.

The main draw at this point is Peter Stormare, who provides much-needed pepper and some of his most diabolical beard-work to date, as a merc up to no good in Sommerton. But his barmy grandstanding aside, there’s little evidence that the man behind the lens is Korean director Jee-woon Kim, whose back catalogue crackles with dark wit. Then, finally, The Last Stand bursts into a final stretch of jubilantly chaotic, cartoonishly violent edge-of-the-border disorder, and everyone seems to wake up. There’s a tool-up sequence that sees Guzmán wielding a sword. Kim flings the camera about with the feverish abandon he brought to The Good, The Bad And The Weird. And several kills are "ouch!"-inducingly harsh, including an Arnie roof-dive that results in a henchman demise worthy of Commando. So, while the big man’s return to the big screen may lack the impact of a car through a police-station wall, it’s a serviceable start.

Arnie’s toe-dip back into the action-cinema pool is a daft bit of fluff rather than a bruising mission statement. Get through the plot and you’ll be rewarded with 30 minutes of whirligig mayhem.

Reviewed by Nick de Semlyen

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Last Stand
Empire Star Rating

Don't make him stand, give him your seat. He's an old man...

Considering how awful it should be, The Last Stand is a surprising amount of fun. I mean, it's still awful as well, but in that "Schwarzenegger" kind of way. It's nothing special, but I get the feeling it's not really trying to be. Acquitted by its own low standards. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 00:01, 11 July 2013 | Report This Post

RE: The Last Stand

I kinda enjoyed, sure it has bad points (johnny Knoxville) & the plot has holes in it but it is entertaining. Good to have Arnie back. ... More

Posted by moviebuff73 at 20:14, 20 June 2013 | Report This Post


With some action flicks you can easily overlook any lapses in logic if the action itself is good enough. Unfortunately, this particular movie is short on both. Arnie’s movie career may well be on it’s LAST LEGS if this example is anything to go by. Playing like some dim hillbilly’s big gun fetish rather than a proper action movie, The Last Stand is a passable enough affair for about half of it’s running time. But even taken on it’s own terms, it runs out of steam we... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ROTGUT at 17:01, 10 June 2013 | Report This Post

Who Cares? It's Arghnuld!

Seriously, what was everyone expecting, Citizen Kane? You see an Arnie movie for Arnie, simple as that. It's just good to see him back on screen, shooting and killing people. Only wish there were more cheesy one-liners! Enjoyable tosh! ... More

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Posted by Wicket55 at 14:25, 03 June 2013 | Report This Post


Pleasantly surprised was expecting much much worse ... More

Posted by CRUNT at 16:02, 08 May 2013 | Report This Post


Last Stand (2013) He's back, he said he would be back, and he is...and boy is he old!. Yep as old Arnie gets out of his 4x4 police Jeep and strolls in front of the camera in his first movie vehicle since 'T3' we see just how old he is, and no amount of tan makeup is gonna cover it. Seeing this really made me think if Arnie should be doing these types of films anymore, the guy looks like a piece of sun baked leather, and that's thanks to the makeup as I said. What makes this worse is the ... More

Posted by Phubbs at 01:45, 27 April 2013 | Report This Post

Boring poor and pointless. How ever much I like arnie this is not good the one liners at one point were so bad a cringed. The only interest I have in this film is have man kind finally found a new source of fuel that never runs out, as that car is travelling at top speed all the way though and never runs out of fuel?? Also at the poorly thought of fight scene at the bad guy seems to have some sort of mma fight style but no clue on how to defend a swinging arm. ... More

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Posted by chrisharvey1551 at 00:23, 03 March 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Like the Arnie films of old, except he's old.

Also gave this a go yesterday at the 02 (who seem to have these weird vibrating D-box things. Anyone had a bash before? Didn't bother myself but they intrigued me). In summary, it was like being reacquainted with an old friend. bit of a sluggish opening and the stuff involving Forest Whittaker and his hapless band of FBI idiots involved a lot of dreadful writing. But yeah, we aren't here for the script, we're here for Arnie Reloaded. I didn't actually realise until the credits ... More

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 12:57, 29 January 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Like the Arnie films of old, except he's old.

Saw this last night and really enjoyed it.A proper old school action flick with minimal cg and hard hitting action.Given the setting, its really a modern day western and its great to see Arnie back as a leading action man.Very good support from the likes of Forest Whitaker and Peter Stormare.Plus its got the lovely Jamie Alexander which is a major plus point. Welcome back Arnie. ... More

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Posted by Cool Breeze at 14:47, 28 January 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Like the Arnie films of old, except he's old.

Yeah, not bad at all. Its delightfully silly and suprisingly voilent to boot, haven't seen squibs used in a while it feels like. My only critisism would be that it could have done with being just a touch sillier, the first half occasionally dips into melodrama, which always seems at odds with the tomfoolery that's to follow. So yeah, enjoyable, as Arnie Vehicles go it's no Terminator, Predator or Total Recall, but it's a darn sight better than the likes of Collateral Damage and The 6t... More

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Posted by paulyboy at 11:31, 25 January 2013 | Report This Post

Like the Arnie films of old, except he's old.

Yep it is nonsense but it is also great fun. Like the classic Arnie films it does not take itself too seriously and blends bad guys and violence with humour. A forgettable and daft film, but a lot of fun to watch. ... More

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Posted by bretty at 21:02, 24 January 2013 | Report This Post

RE: A great, fun movie of Scharzenegger kickassery

Sheriff Ray Owens is settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction. He once worked in Los Angeles, but left his narcotics post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with remorse and regret. His current peaceful that existence is shattered when Gabriel Cortez, the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the western hemisphere, escapes, with some outside help, from an FBI prisoner convoy. Cortez begins racing towards the US... More

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Posted by Dr Lenera at 18:32, 24 January 2013 | Report This Post

A great, fun movie of Scharzenegger kickassery

To "Fallen Giant": Really, you're going to dismiss the movie AND give it two stars without even having seen it? It's unfair that critics are giving this one a hard time. The Last Stand is packed with fun, creative action, laugh-out-loud humor, and is both a great ensemble piece and an excellent Schwarzenegger vehicle. His role is realistic for his age, and he gives equal time to his cast-mates while still delivering the satisfying Schwarzenegger kick-assery you're looking for. Obvio... More

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Posted by Madhava at 15:22, 24 January 2013 | Report This Post

Great fun

Never destined to be a classic,but it's a superb way to spend a couple of hours! Recommended for the sheer fun of it! ... More

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Posted by CHUFFSTER at 12:34, 24 January 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Even giants can fall

Was very lucky to attend the premiere and I have to say I expected this to be bobbins but with a packed cinema and a couple of beers inside me this was a riot. Of course it's crap, but it's very fun crap. There's some great kills in there too. The aforementioned roof dive kill should raise a titter. ... More

Posted by UTB at 07:38, 24 January 2013 | Report This Post

Even giants can fall

Oh I think we all knew it was going to be craptasic. Just reading the synopsis when this film was first announced made me yawn. Wouldn't even bother downloading a Pirate copy of this. ... More

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Posted by Fallen Giant at 04:54, 24 January 2013 | Report This Post

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