He told us he'd be back and he was several times but somewhere in the depths of the halls of self-hatred there's a rulebook that requires every two-bit second-rate hack critic to begin each review of an Arnie Schwarzenegger film with some such comparatively shitty joke. Now that that's out of the way let me move on. The Last Stand (get it?) features the Germanic ex-governor of Hollywood in a role as the wistful, over-the-hill (almost) sheriff of a tiny little town on the Mexican border (Hasta la vista Amigo!). When a pair of imposter truckers led by the Swedish guy from Fargo turn up in town the Sheriff’s suspicions are piqued and he starts snooping around. And with very good reason it turns out – since these two jokers are part of a conspiracy to aid an evil genius ex-racecar driver in his attempt to reach the Mexican border and escape into anonymity, apparently through causing as much destruction as would be humanly possible while driving a sports car across the state of Arizona.
Like most dumb action movies The Last Stand appears to take place in a parallel universe where the normal laws of physics don’t apply and every single human on the planet has been born with a mild-to-medium severity learning disorder that requires them to speak in the bluntest, most simplistic terms possible (and to make sure they slip in at least one or two obscenities whenever the subject matter get too boring, lest their conversation partners lose interest mid-sentence). This is a world where even the sweetheart who works at the diner calls the milkman an old bastard when she phones up the sheriff to express concern that he's a few minutes late for his rounds (thereby rendering even this deliberate exposition of the charming, rustic values that reign in Arnie’s latest haunting ground an absolute misfire).
So yeah, it's a quaint little apple-pie town that Arnie’s ended up in here, but apparently not so quaint that you couldn't call the vicar a cunt if his sermon ran too late on a particularly sweaty Sunday afternoon. Then again, it’s not like the studio really have any other choice when creating a thing like this – if they give the sugar fiends and videogame addicts in the audience even a solitary second to flick their listless eyes away from the screen then they might whip out those smartphones and start hashing out a scathing emoticon-riddled tweet to all their buddies. The movie could get a name for itself before it had a chance to cream the box office. It could be deemed “Lame” by the blogosphere, or worse again, “Gay”.
No. The only thing gay about The Last Stand is the lack of upper-body female nudity that you might otherwise expect to have been gratuitously inserted to complete the set of bombs, explosions, car chases and curse words. I was disappointed, but only in a detached and clinical outsider way. Only because it's my job to expect these things. Disappointed for the sake of irony, not for the sake of tits.