REVIEW BY INTERN JOHN SPATARO Jan. 18th, 2013
If you’re going to be watching a movie about a sheriff in a small Arizona border-town attempting to stop a renegade drug lord from crossing the border into Mexico, you might as well be watching it in a theatre full of actual Arizona law enforcement officials.
Well, at least I did.
KDKB sponsored the advanced screening of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest adrenaline rush “The Last Stand” on Wednesday but the theater wasn’t packed with normal moviegoers and media. Instead, the theater was full to honor the men and women from various law enforcement departments.
Members from the Scottsdale, Coolidge and Tempe Police Departments, GIITEM-State Gang Task Force, HEAT Squad, DEA, US Marshals and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office were in attendance and were recognized before the movie by KDKB’s very own Shmonty and Hippie Dom.
But the biggest honor of the night went to “America’s Toughest Sheriff” himself as Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio sat front and center for the screening with his wife.
The atmosphere at the event was that of a proud group of men and women who were glad to take time to enjoy themselves at a movie with their friends and family. I can’t say that I have ever felt safer at a movie than I did while I was surrounded by almost 100 off duty officers in my seat at the theater.
As for the film itself, it didn’t quite live up to the atmosphere around me.
“The Last Stand” directed by Jee-Woon Kim, stars The Govenator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first lead role since Terminator 3 as an “over-the-hill” sheriff named Ray Owens in the small border town of Sommerton, AZ. The movie begins with the majority of the town packing up on buses to head upstate for the state championship football game while Ray stays home for what he hopes to be a “quiet weekend”.
Meanwhile, a notorious Mexican cartel leader, Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) is being transported from his prison cell in Las Vegas, to federal death row. The operation, run by F.B.I agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) is botched and Cortez is able to escape.
Cortez’s plan is to drive a suped up corvette that can hit speeds of 200mph from Vegas to the Arizona/Mexico border, thus solidifying his liberty. With the F.B.I hot on his trail, his plan is to cross the border through Sommerton, but we all know what’s waiting for him when he gets there.
As I sat watching the movie, I had to constantly remind myself that I was in a movie theater in 2013 and not the ‘90s. The Last Stand drips of basically any ‘90s action flick with noticeable plot holes, less than stellar acting and more cheesy one-liners than you can take without just having to laugh.
The problem I had with the movie was that it never really made you care about anything on the screen. The rising action of Cortez getting closer to the border never made you feel like anything was in danger and felt more like check points for a story we’ve read before.
It is great to see that AH-nold doesn’t take himself too seriously after his political career and can still make us laugh with his charming personality mixed with oversized guns and stupid people, which this movie has a lot of.
Luiz Guzman plays a deputy to Arnold and Johnny Knoxville plays a dim-witted, gun crazy townie but they do provide some actually funny moments in the movie as they hassle Sheriff Owens throughout the flick. For a film that bills itself as a stone cold action movie, I found myself enjoying the comedy much more than the action.
All in all, this movie has some value and I would recommend it for an easy watching action movie but with all the other blockbusters out right now it’s hard to justify spending the money on this movie and not the plethora of Oscar nominees still in theaters.
This movie belongs on USA network in between “Speed” and “Con Air” because “The Last Stand” has the best qualities of both of them. Even if that’s not saying much, it’s worth a watch if you don’t pay more than $5 for it.