Arnold's Back—and Mediocre as Ever

The Last Stand gives Schwarzenegger a schlocky, old-school action vehicle

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 18, 2013 11:24 AM CST

(Newser) – Yes, it's really happening. At 65 years old, ex-Governator and tabloid scandal figure Arnold Schwarzenegger is making an action movie comeback with The Last Stand, a shoot-em-up in which he plays a grizzled small-town sheriff forced to combat a Mexican drug lord. How does he do? About as well as you'd expect. Here's what critics are saying:

  • At this point Arnold is "a strange and pathetic figure." But Americans love a comeback, writes Andrew O'Hehir at Salon. "If anything, his acting has gotten worse. … But you know exactly what you’re going to get with Arnold." The guy's "always had a genial arrogance that audiences eat up: He’s gettin’ paid, he hopes we’re having fun, and he feels no need to pretend that it’s art."

  • If you were expecting an Unforgiven-esque turn from Arnold, or a bold English-language debut from acclaimed director Kim Jee-woon, you'll be disappointed, writes William Goss at Film.com. "But it’s a sloppy bit of fun once it gets going, situated well between both the best and worst that all involved have had to offer audiences … At least it does what it says on the tin."
  • Mick LaSalle detected "a touch of gentleness" in Arnold's performance, and a sense of real world-weariness. "What ever did they do to this poor man in Sacramento?" he quips in the San Francisco Chronicle. As for the movie itself, it's a "ridiculous" affair culminating in "a crazy bloodbath that is so excessive that it begins to seem funny—except when it's trying to be funny."
  • But Roger Moore was not amused. "It’s a junky, crowd-pleasing movie of sidekicks (Luis Guzman and Johnny Knoxville), bad acting, over the top shootouts, and catch phrases," with an almost fetishistic love of guns that's "VERY pre-Sandy Hook," he writes. "There are filmgoers nostalgic for this sort of fascist/gun fetishist drivel. Not me."

This publicity film image released by Lionsgate shows Arnold Schwarzenegger in a scene from "The Last Stand."   (AP Photo/Lionsgate, Merrick Morton, File)
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The official trailer for "The Last Stand."   (YouTube)

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