Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Last Stand

I recently finished off a jar of Nutella and it sat in my cupboard for about a week. It wasn’t until a few days later when I decided to fire a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream into it and sprinkle it with grated Caramacs that I discovered what angels tasted like and took one more glorious dander towards heart failure and diabetes.

I don’t need to tell you that the best things for you in one way are always bad for you in another. I’m sure there are many people out there insisting that their honey chilli four bean salad followed by their afternoon jog is one of the most exhilarating experiences they’ve had since they got off the toilet for the third time since 9am. I however prefer a small tub of heavenly goodness with Nutella written on its outside and watching a film with practically no moral worth and no logical inspiration.

The Last Stand is a film featuring Arnold Shwarzenegger, and it’s sort of a mixture between a western and a rather low budget version of any cop show you’ve ever seen. The film is about a guy called Gabriel Cortez, a dangerous mexican drug lord who has escaped the custody of the FBI while being transferred to another prison. Gabriel has developed plans to cross the Mexican Border to the warm loving arms of his drugs, cartels and money. I really hope this doesn’t happen half as much in real life as it does in films.

The Governator plays a Sheriff of a small town, home to the smallest gap in the land between America and Mexico. There is no bridge, discouraging most flightless animals from trying to jump it and therefore it is also unguarded by the intense Mexican passport people. Naughty Gabriel’s friends don’t care about this and build a big old bridge anyway. This upsets Arnie who decides to send them all to bed without any supper and also shoots them all dead just to make sure they learn their lesson.

After having recently watched Stallone’s new film, Bullet to the Head, it’s probably fair to say that they are going to be compared to each other at some point. Arnie’s strength comes from his acceptance of his age as an actor. Stallone, while not bad in Bullet to the Head, was telling everyone to forget that he’d aged at all since Rocky and just made another 80s film but in the 2010s, whereas Arnie plays a man who used to do ‘Arnie style things’ all the time but has since become too old to participate, and has semi-retired lest he snaps in two trying to hold a mini gun in one hand.

Johnny Knoxville plays the same character as he always does which is a watered down version of himself, but it would be unfair to say that I didn’t enjoy it. He’s a bit mental in all the fun ways and I’m glad he was in it, an unusual experience for me.

The Last Stand is almost like two different films going on at once, one a rather serious minded cop show, with the lead agent suffering from the same disease that makes Keanu Reeves whisper even when he’s shouting in every film except Bill and Ted. The other film is like Dr. Quinn Medicine woman with Arnie playing Dr. Quinn.  I loved the over the top violence in this particular episode of Dr. Quinn, someone actually explodes until the arms are in different parts of town, and an old lady shoots someone to death in her house very much resulting in my pleasure.

I have two different rating systems when deciding on whether or not I like a film; the traditional star rating system and my infrequently used but preferred ‘Holy Fuck’ system. This only gets carted out if I have actually uncontrollably screamed these two words at the television at some point throughout. Dollhouse Season 2 got a 5 star ‘Holy Fuck’ rating and Law Abiding Citizen got at least 3. I would say this film warrants a 2 or 3 and that’s special.

Arnie’s one-liners rattle away inside you like a nostalgia moth caught in a jar, they are hideously bad and gloriously good at the same time. Like if you stumbled across and original Golden Wonder Pot Noodle in a shop somewhere. His casual disregard of rules to do what needs to be done is always fun to watch as he blatantly ignores Knoxville explaining to him that the massive mini-gun that has just been unveiled before him is about as legal as the copy of the film you are probably downloading.

Twists. Turns. Explosions. Blood. Ridiculous lines. It has everything you’d want from and 80s throwback film and it’s just damn good fun and I heartily suggest it for anyone who loves really great really awful things.

David Roberts, CeX Ann Street, Belfast

The Last Stand at CeX

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