“Got a few to catch up on while I’ve got the Pats game on in the background AND while keeping an eye on my mystery hunt team. Not like I’m ever actually helpful, especially not when I’m so out of practice. But I like feeling like I’m a part of it. Apparently we’re doing fairly well. Go Death From Above!
The movie portion of my long weekend began with a double at the Common yesterday. It’s January, so I’m not too optimistic about the current offering of wide releases. Hollywood kinda uses this as a dumping ground for their mainstream films while everyone else crowds into arthouses and indies for the current Academy award nominees. So what kinda rejects do we have this year? Well, our first feature pairs up Arnold Schwarzenegger with Johnny Knoxville. Yes, you read that correctly.
This is Ahnold’s first lead role since before his Governatorship, with Terminator 3 about ten years ago. Humble, but fitting return. He plays the sherriff in a waaaaaay small border town, trying to defend his turf from an escaped criminal making a run for Mexico. The film was sorta trying to attempt action comedy, a favorite mashup genre of mine but incredibly tough to get the balance right. As an action movie, Last Stand was kinda meh. As a comedy, it had much unfulfilled potential. I’m about to make a statement that you will prolly never hear from a legit movie critic, ever. This is why I’m special, and you love me. Ready? Here goes: This movie needed more Johnny Knoxville.
Hear me out. There was this fun vibe to what was going on, with a ragtag gaggle of yokels. Most of the comedic responsability was thrust on Luis Gusman, as one of the sherriff’s deputies. Knoxville had a much smaller role as a gun afficionado who supplies our motley crew, but he stole every one of his scenes. The joy on his face firing his weapons, the adoration he had for his inventory as evidenced by the names he lovingly gave each piece, it all provided a much needed energy, and I think he could have been much better utilized. Especially since he was so prominently featured in the promos.
Anyways, not too much to the film otherwise. Once we got to the climax, the action increased and it did get fun. However, it took us a while to get to that point. I was kinda bored. Nothing in the buildup was anything we haven’t seen before in a million other films. Just kinda cliche with a bad guy needlessly chewing scenery, supposed twists that weren’t, and the sad sight of an Academy Award winner trying to earn a paycheck (sorry, Forrest Whitaker).
Something I did find interesting is the timing of this film’s release with the current gun control debate in this country. I’m not saying they were intentionally trying to make a political statement, but they still present a strong argument for arming private citizens. Personally, I refuse to comment on the issue other than to say that I feel that both sides have valid points. I’m only pointing it out because that’s what was running thru my head during a good portion of the movie.
The Last Stand – \m/ \m/ \n