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The Last Stand

The former governor of California gets serious about border control

Sheriff Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Expendables 2) left a life of action as a Los Angeles cop to police a small border town in Arizona.
    Small town life gets a lot more exciting when Mexican cartel kingpin Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega: Una Pistola en Cada Mano) escapes from FBI custody. He jumps in a souped-up Corvette, takes a hostage and speeds toward freedom. The only thing standing in his way are the local yokels of Sommerton.
    Now, it’s up to Ray to make his — say it with me — last stand.
    The Last Stand is an under-written, over-acted, gory, wham-bam action movie. In other words, it’s an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. And while it is, in fact, a bad movie, it holds nostalgic charm.
    It’s been nearly a decade since the Austrian Oak headlined a movie, after semi-retiring to become governor of California.
    As in most Schwarzenegger movies, his supporting cast makes or breaks the film. When Arnold is teamed with character actors like Luis Guzman and Peter Stormare, he shines. The only hiccup in an otherwise serviceable cast is Forest Whitaker (The Dark Truth), who seems confused as to how he went from winning an Oscar to playing second ­fiddle in an Arnold movie.
    Director Jee-woon Kim (I Saw the Devil) makes his English-language debut with a literal bang. Whether he’s blowing up cars or blowing off heads, Kim has a knack for logic-defying action.
    I can’t with a clean conscience tell you that The Last Stand is a good movie. It’s not. But I can tell you that The Last Stand is a fun piece of nostalgia that harkens back to Arnold’s glory days. The audience in my screening seemed to agree: We laughed, cheered and clapped as a 66-year-old man showed the next generation how to kick butt and take names. Watching this movie is the equivalent of an ice cream sundae: It’s not good for you, but every now and then it’s fun to indulge.

Fair Movie/Fun Action • R • 107 mins.