Not that I feel I have to justify this but I thought I would start this review just as I did with my Expendables 2 review, by saying that I am a life long fan of Arnie and have been waiting for this film for ten years! So my opinions are that of my own and may not necessarily reflect those of others.
Sheriff Owens is a man who has resigned himself to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction after leaving his LAPD post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with failure and defeat after his partner was crippled.
After a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy, the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the hemisphere is hurtling toward the border at 200 mph in a specially outfitted car with a hostage and a fierce army of gang members. He is headed, it turns out, straight for Sommerton Junction, where the whole of U.S. law enforcement will have their last opportunity to make a stand and intercept him before he slips across the border forever. At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately accepts responsibility for the face off
Presented in a 2.35:1 1080p AVC encode the film looks as good as you would expect it too for a new title. The transfer is excellent with the visuals looking superb.
The detail on the print is second to none with some great close-up shots. Most notably you see just how much Arnold has aged over the years. He looks old and weathered in the film and this comes across in the transfer. You see everything in fine detail on the close-up shots. The sweat dripping off the faces, great definition on hair and stubble.
Colours are wonderful and vibrant, with the daytime desert setting of the film colours really pop off the screen. One thing that really struck me was the colours of the actors and actresses eyes, especially the piercing eyes of Jamie Alexander, they really draw your attention on close-up shots as the detail is amazing.
Whilst there isn’t much in the way of night time shots, what there is very solid. Blacks add good depth to the picture when on-screen, but are nowhere near as good as the daytime visuals.
Amongst the old-fashioned gun shot squibs, there was a fair amount of CGI blood. Luckily, this didn’t distract from the film at all and for me blended in quite well. You can tell the end finale is green screen and this was a little off-putting as it gave off quite a bit of motion blur, but I can forgive this as it wasn’t too much.
Overall a fantastic transfer which does the film great justice. Lionsgate should be pleased with themselves a great transfer, and only a slight mark down because of the night time scenes not being as strong as the day time counterparts. If I could mark it 4.75/5 I would.
As always Lionsgate have provided another excellent audio track for this great action movie. Only the one on the disc, and it’s a DTS-HD MA 7.1 track that certainly packs a punch.
The surround mix is superb. When the guns start shooting, bullets fly from everywhere. Looking at Lionsgate’s record with tracks like this they seem to just get bigger and better, and dare I say I found this track more engaging than that of The Expendables 2, which I thought was superb! The dialogue comes across fine and isn’t lost in the track at all. The subwoofer also gets a great workout due to the many explosions and deep gun shots, the track will literally shake your walls, blowing off any dust and cobwebs that your sub may have on it!
The score seemed pretty much non-existent in the film and does tend to get lost within the sound effects of all of the guns and fighting, but from what you do hear it is a nice subtle action-paced type score but not one you will remember.
No matter the size of your room, this will fill it with ease! This is a great track that is going to please all audiophiles out there.
All extras are presented in HD unless stated
Not In My Town: Making of ‘The Last Stand’ This is a good 28 min behind-the-scenes featurette, that although you can tell has been fluffed up for the cameras also shows just how much fun the cast had making the movie
Cornfield Chaos: Scene Breakdown – This takes a more detailed look at the penultimate car chase, showing what work went into it including the stunts and cinematography
The Dinkum Firearm and Historic Weaponry Museum Tour – This gives us an even bigger look at the real guns that were showcased in the film, and even more! A brief history is also given for each of the guns with some being shown in action
Actor-Cam Anarchy – This is a 10 minute candid walkaround with Johnny Knoxville and Jamie Alexander. Using the cameras they were given we get to see what it’s like on-set and what they would get up to on a day-to-day basis
Deleted & Extended Scenes – Finishing off the nice selection of extras are some deleted and extended scenes. Nothing major is seen here, just extra dialogue and extra footage that wouldn’t have made much difference to the final film although what we do get to see is an extra action scene involving a police trap, which if used in the final cut could’ve been pretty cool
Overall a good set of extras, although I would’ve liked to have seen an audio commentary from Arnold and possibly a nice one-on-one interview with Arnie talking about how it feels to be making movies again, and to why he chose ‘The Last Stand’ to be his comeback.
Well, where do I start? I’ve waited ten years for Arnold’s return to the big screen and was it worth the wait? For me, damn straight it was! I loved every second of the movie.
Being Korean director Jee-Woon Kim’s first American made movie I thought he did tremendously well. Being known in Korea for more horror/darker movies, this step was a curious one for me as I didn’t know how he would handle a movie such as this. Needless to say I look forward to his next US movie! I was really pleased to see the crew take a good R-rated route with the movie, instead of a PG-13 route that many seem to take now. There’s lots of swearing, lots of shooting and lots and lots of blood! Like ‘The Expendables’ and ‘The Expendables 2’ this was very much welcomed by myself.
I thought the cast was great with Johnny Knoxville and Luis Guzman providing some very funny comic relief (I’m a big Knoxville/Jackass fan anyway so this was win-win for me), Jamie Alexander is great eye candy with Peter Stormare playing his typical villain role hamming it up to the max. I did feel that Forest Whitaker was very much underused and for me was much more of an extended cameo which was a shame as being the big actor that he is, I felt he definatly deserved more screen time. Speaking of cameos look out for fan favourite Harry Dean Stanton and Arnold’s Predator co-star Sonny Landham! The rest of the co-stars play their parts well and add to form a great cast.
On to the main man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Loads and loads of fans have been waiting for the Austrian Oak’s return onto the big screen, with our appetites being whet by a very small cameo in ‘The Expendables’, and a much larger extended cameo come almost co-starring role in ‘The Expendables 2’. Since leaving for Office after making ‘The Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’ I have been waiting and hoping Arnold would return to the big screen so the first I heard about this I was naturally extremely excited. I was following this from day one, and I remember watching the red band trailer which really piqued my excitement. Watching this at the cinema I had a blast! It’s obvious on screen that Arnold enjoyed making the movie, and had vast amounts of fun doing so. The role of Ray Owens suited him to a T. Arnold is an older, wiser man now so I wouldn’t expect to see him running around like he did in Commando or Predator (as much as I want too), but The Last Stand was the next best thing with an ideal setting. Yes, Arnold is older, but he can still kick arse BIG time! You’ll see what I mean when you watch the film. He shows he can still move when he needs too, shoot the big ass guns when needed, throw hard punches when the time calls for it and still delivers the one-liners with some great ones thrown in the mix here.
The film unfortunately didn’t do as well at the Box Office as everyone had hoped, but it hasn’t stopped Arnold announcing more projects with two more movies due out over the next 18 months. I hope that the film will find it’s core market when released on Blu-Ray and DVD. Is it a good, well made quality film? No of course not. Is it a fun-filled 90 minute action movie starring one of the greatest action stars of all time? Oh yes!
Speaking of the Blu-Ray, Lionsgate have done a fine job here on bringing what is for me a superb action movie starring my all-time favourite actor/action hero. A superb transfer, a fantastic audio track and a fine selection of extras make for what will provide me and I hope others with many more fun filled evenings watching this many more times which I will be doing many more times. I’m very pleased to have Arnold back, and it’s onwards and upwards from here!