The Last Stand, with Arnold Schwarzenegger & Forest Whitaker, Director, Jee-woon Kim. Not kidding, I really liked this one. Its simplicity & no arguments whatsoever, was enchanting. Especially, Schwarzenegger – who is strangely considered a complete American now. Though not the most intellectual of cinematic offerings, a black & white, criminal on the run, get him quick; was just what I needed. Sort of… It’s a filler. An appetizer.
Arnold, obviously a pragmatist, performs well as a sheriff of a small US-Mexico border area town in the crossfire, between the American Federal Govt & an escaping international criminal headed towards the safety of failed-state Mexico. He did a great job, not a genius, but lives up to his reputation. Give him some slack, he’s older, I’m older, we’re all longer in the tooth & still kicking.
Whitaker, fresh off his recent scandal of being accused in New York City of shoplifting in a coffee shop, of all places; is just himself, adequate as a Federal agent trying to capture a slippery, clever thug. The film doesn’t require that much from his character, so he really doesn’t have to stretch. Pity. I was hoping for his usual version of Quasimodo. Nevermind, he’s just an incongruous black man, stationed on a troubled border. Which is surprising, because this is the first time I’m seeing him under-used. Could it be that he’s now a has-been?
The movie; while being basically little better than a Wednesday night, third broadcast channel movie of the week; ends up being a moral play. An aging professional proves that he’s got more gumption in his little finger than the youths, bureaucrats & career intelligence agents. Sounds good on paper, it didn’t incarnate well at the box office. Could it be Arnold has lost his touch?
When all is said & done, I recommend this film. It’s not so bad & there’s literally nothing else to go see at this time. Wait for it’s release on disc, or otherwise. I always, always enjoy Schwarzenegger. Whitaker is filmed at a distance so his squinty eye can’t really be seen to its fullest effect. We’ll hope for better, next time around.