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Arnie Is Back in "The Last Stand"

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This is an action comedy packed with spectacular car-chases and shoot outs, with the gaps in between filled with lighthearted comedy and cheesy dialogue. Fortunately, talking is kept to a minimum, and it's the high-octane action that fuels the vehicle, which lets us know, that Arnie is back.

Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the Sheriff of Sommerton Junction, a small town on the US/Mexican border. The peace of this sleepy town is interrupted when a farmer is found shot dead, with the crime scene staged to look like a burglary gone wrong. Meanwhile, FBI Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker), is transferring a drug kingpin, Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), from jail to prison.

As soon as Cortez is transferred to the FBI prisoner convoy, a sophisticated escape is orchestrated and Cortez flees, taking with him an FBI operative as hostage. He heads towards the border, where a band of lawless mercenaries wait to escort him from Sommerton Junction to Mexico, which means they will have to travel across the land owned by the dead farmer. It is left to Sheriff Owens and his entourage to stop the most wanted drug dealer in the western hemisphere, from disappearing over the Mexican border forever.

the last stand

There is nothing original about any member of the posse the Sheriff enlists to help him defend the town. There's the buffoon, the unwilling hero, the pretty girl, the drifter and the devoted deputy. The Sheriff himself is pretty unremarkable, as are the multitude of one-dimensional bad guys. FBI Agent Bannister is, simply, just an agent, but he does imbue sufficient comedy into his story-line to avoid what could have been a jarring genre clash. However, lack of character depth is really not an issue in this film, as it rarely takes itself seriously, and simply charges from battle to battle, with nothing but speed and mayhem on its frivolous mind.

The disparity between the frequent action and sparse dialogue continues throughout. A possible reason for this could be that the director, Kim Jee-Woon, is South Korean, and speaks hardly a word of English. This makes him a strange choice for a mainstream American movie unless, of course, the producers wanted to use Jee-Woon as an excuse to keep Arnie's dialogue to a minimum, and let the infamous brawn do the talking. Sometimes, three words are all you need.

RELEASE DATES
Argentina- 17 January 2013
Egypt - 17 January 2013
Hong Kong- 17 January 2013
Kuwait - 17 January 2013
Lebanon - 17 January 2013
Malaysia - 17 January 2013
Qatar - 17 January 2013
Thailand - 17 January 2013
U A E - 17 January 2013
Brazil - 18 January 2013
Bulgaria - 18 January 2013
Canada - 18 January 2013
Lithuania- 18 January 2013
Mexico - 18 January 2013
Pakistan - 18 January 2013
Spain - 18 January 2013
Taiwan - 18 January 2013
USA - 18 January 2013
Belgium - 23 January 2013
France - 23 January 2013
Hungary - 24 January 2013
Israel - 24 January 2013
Slovenia - 24 January 2013
Estonia - 25 January 2013
Ireland - 25 January 2013
Latvia - 25 January 2013
Romania - 25 January 2013
UK - 25 January 2013
Uruguay - 25 January 2013
Switz'and- 30 January 2013 (French speaking region)
Austria - 31 January 2013
Chile - 31 January 2013
Croatia - 31 January 2013
Germany - 31 January 2013
Italy - 31 January 2013
Peru - 31 January 2013
Slovakia - 31 January 2013
Switz'and- 31 January 2013 (German speaking region)
Ukraine - 31 January 2013
Iceland - 1 February 2013
Czech Rep- 7 February 2013
Greece - 7 February 2013
Neth'lds - 7 February 2013
Australia- 21 February 2013
Russia - 21 February 2013
Singapore- 21 February 2013
Norway - 22 February 2013
Vietnam - 22 February 2013
Portugal - 28 February 2013
Poland - 1 March 2013
Denmark - 7 March 2013
Paraguay - 8 March 2013
S. Africa- 8 March 2013
Turkey - 15 March 2013
Japan - 27 April 2013
New Z'lnd- 2 May 2013

Miv Evans is a British filmmaker and freelance journalist, now living in Los Angeles. Contact Miv at www.thetrailerfestival.com Read more stories by Miv Evans.

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