Last Stand signals Arnie’s return

ARNOLD Schwarzenegger’s latest film is his first lead role in a decade.

In ‘The Last Stand’ he plays a small time sheriff in charge of Sommerton, a quiet town in Arizona. In nearby Las Vegas, a drug kingpin, being transported by the FBI, stages a breakout and goes on the run.

His plan is to cross over the Mexican border to freedom, but he has to go through Sommerton to do so. Forest Whitaker co-stars as an FBI agent chasing the criminal.

‘The Last Stand’ is an uncharacteristically low profile return for Arnie. Due to Forest Whitaker’s story running parallel, Arnie is absent from about half an hour of the film.

Surprisingly, none of his trademarks are to be found; he doesn’t say any of his cheesy one liners, nor does he say ‘I’ll be back’. He mainly plays the role straight and when any comedy happens around him, it feels out of place.

The supporting cast, sans Forest Whitaker, isn’t particularly strong – most of them are used as comic relief and are insufferable.

One of Arnie’s Deputies, played by Luis Guzmán, made me cringe every time he spoke.

Jackass’ Johnny Knoxville shows up as a crazy arms dealer - later Deputy. Knoxville is basically playing the same character he played in Walking Tall (2004), and was also irritating in his brief role.

What Arnie does here, he does well.

Schwarzenegger is a fan of Clint Eastwood, and has often name-checked him when discussing the type of roles he enjoys.

I suspect this role to be his attempt at ageing gracefully as an Action hero, ala Eastwood, and expect him to take more roles that focus on his age.

Overall I was very impressed with ‘The Last Stand’, an enjoyable action film and welcome return for Schwarzenegger.

He’s back.

By Kelan Headley