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Opening: The Last Stand


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Well, he said he’d “be back.” And Arnold Schwarzenegger is back, alright, delivering those simple-minded one-liners in his thick accent as always in The Last Stand, a new action film that picks up where all his crappy action films from the late ’90s left off. In his first starring role in ten years, Arnold Schwarzenegger gets to act his age as Sheriff Ray Owens, a big city cop who has retired to a small Arizona town because he got sick of working the narcotics beat in L.A. Ray is in the middle of enjoying a day off when he gets some disturbing news that the town’s relentlessly reliable farmer (Harry Dean Stanton) didn’t show up to deliver milk to the local diner. Ray heads out to the guy’s ranch and when he finds the old man’s body and then subsequently gets a call from the FBI about a wanted fugitive that might be heading toward his town, he quickly realizes trouble is on the way. Despite the fact the FBI is unable to get a SWAT team to town to help him out, Ray is determined to make a stand and ensure that Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), a dangerous drug lord making a run for the border in a souped-up Corvette, doesn’t come through his town without encountering some resistance. So Ray gets together a motley crew of law enforcement officials to create a barricade and deputizes gun collector Lewis Dinkum (Johnny Knoxville) to supply them with ammunition and artillery. The film’s plot is telegraphed from the start. We know that there’ll be a showdown between Ray and Gabriel. While South Korean director Kim Ji-Woon balanced humor and violence adroitly in 2008’s terrific The Good, the Bad, the Weird, something gets lost in translation here.

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