REVIEW: The Last Stand (2013) - ManlyMovie

REVIEW: The Last Stand (2013)

Runtime: 107 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: To come to the realisation that a weak Arnie movie is better than a bloated comic movie
It was almost like it was 20 years ago when this came out — 1993.  The three Planet Hollywood guys had each got a big theatrical movie coming out round about now.  Bruce had the first R-Rated Die Hard in 18 years.  Sly had his first standalone since Rambo (2008) in Bullet to the Head and Arnie had this.  Of all these guys, Arnie had most riding on The Last Stand.  It was his first comeback movie, The Expendables movies don’t really count. It’s definitely a ‘weak’ Arnie movie, that’s the bad thing.  I was honestly expecting better, but the director makes this look like a rushed chore.  The good news is it’s was best movie since Eraser, and that’s a long time ago. 

First of all, throw caution in the garbage here.  I can’t go any further without mentioning the story. It is outrageous.  Even by Arnie standards, it enters and perhaps even surpasses Raw Deal territory.  A cartel kingpin escapes FBI custody and heads for the Mexican border.  He seemingly has all the funds in the world, an entire army is ready to assist his chase providing him with ramming vehicles, radio updates and pontoon bridges.  

The elephant in the room is – if he has this kind of firepower, why doesn’t he just hop in a chopper and leave?  The movie actually addresses this.  Y’see, the kingpin wants a bit of a chase and likes fast cars.  So he goes on the run, in a 200mph+ 1,000BHP ZR1.  Anyway, the FBI calls Arnie to block the guy and his gang in his small town.  What ensues is, to use a quote from a Jason Statham movie, something that looks like a ‘bad day in Bosnia’.

But this movie has problems.  It’s clearly an oldschool actioner – the premise is ridiculous.  So why so much filler in the first half?  There’s a lot of dead weight.  In the likes of RAW DEAL, someone in production realised that character development and whatnot will look a bit stupid in the midst of gratuitous madness.  In that movie, action is pumped in to keep it afloat.  Not here, not in the first half at least.  But eventually it does work itself up to competent levels, just about.  

This movie has three things going for it.  That ZR1 that the director seemed to have a fetish for – like me.  The violence, which is hilarious and fully developed – i.e. it was shot from the start and not added in post production, and avoided CGI.  It might even be in the top 3 most bloody Arnie movies.  And third, Arnie himself.  Listen man, his screen presence is just thunderous.  Funny, imposing, unique.  Arnold.  He hasn’t lost it, not a bit.  He’s as entertaining as Eastwood in the likes of Gran Torino with a shit project to work with.  It’s so effortless, I want more.  Even despite the slow start and the mediocre action sequences, Arnold saves the movie.

There are some cool ideas in this movie – the weapons museum, the ‘Vette etc – and most of them are handled badly.  This director seems like a noob.  It’s Arnie that saves this movie from being shit.  I hope the rest of his career is better.


  1. Anonymous

    January 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    director was good, arnie was corny, the story sucked.

  2. Manly Movies

    January 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    If the director was good the shootout and fight scene would not have sucked.

  3. Jeff

    June 29, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    I finally just watched this a couple of days ago…overall, I liked it and will watch it again.

  4. crocop97

    November 30, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Jee-woon Kim is an amazing director, The Last Stand sure as hell ain’t his best one, but it was entertaining

  5. jim

    November 30, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    You guys have no idea what you’re talking about.There is nothing wrong with this director. His name is Jee-woon Kim . He is one of the best directors working in South Korea …when it comes to manly movies South Korea is pissing all over everybody, especially the US. This guy made Bittersweet Life (2005) and I Saw The Devil (2010)..Plainly, he went to hollywood just to get fucked over with a dud script and a lot of prick actors who are more interested in a vanity vehicle than a good movie. Arnie has charisma to burn but he is a greedy shameless whore and if he wanted to make a serious heavy movie , he would have. Instead, he opted for the usual sloppy mix of violence and slapstick. The result is stupid. The same story could have been told without Knoxville and the ludicrous gimmicks …another wasted opportunity.

    • Max Borg

      December 5, 2016 at 8:02 am

      You think the kuckleheads who worship at the Expendables altar would have any idea who he is?

      • jim

        December 6, 2016 at 4:13 am

        You’d be surprised. There’s a few of us here bangin’ the drum for South Korean cinema.

        • Max Borg

          December 6, 2016 at 7:30 am

          You, yes. People like Fred and The_Knight_Rider? Not so much…

  6. Andymovieman

    November 30, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    Great movie along with raw deal in which Arnold plays a sheriff. Just like how Stallone did it with cop land.

  7. John Ashton

    December 1, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    I like this movie a lot, it’s a good ride with everything in there almost. I don’t get the ratings on this site, you say this is poor, but give it 7 / 10? I read a review for something the other day, saying it was utter garbage and soooo bad, yet you gave it a 4 / 10, which to me means just below average. Oh well. I’m gonna watch this again on DVD tonight.

  8. Saverio

    December 1, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    A surprise out of nowhere! 8/10


    December 2, 2016 at 10:35 am

    This movie bombed so bad it made me feel sorry for Arnold. Maybe hed have been better off coming back with Terminator first (a different version – R rated, no Courtney, no 2017, possible roles for Biehn/Hamilton)

  10. ChrisWhite

    December 5, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Agree. Nightrider with another Pathetic comment about something he clearly has no knowledge about. Jee Woon Kim is a great director and I fucking doubble dare Nightrider to take a peek at A bittersweetlife which is one of the greatest mob thrillers of 2000 and Beyond. It’s a great manly movie but Nightrider is too lazy for that..