I made the horrible mistake of looking at The Last Stand's
score on RottenTomatoes
before going to a screening of the Arnold Schwarzenegger comeback action movie. And, to my surprise - and later my shock and horror - it was sitting at a perfect 100% fresh with two dozen or so reviews posted. So, what did I learn from this? Never, ever get your hopes up based on a RottenTomatoes rating and that most critics have apparently made New Year's resolutions to be kinder and gentler than they've ever been before.
I blame myself. I never should have looked. But seeing that 100% fresh rating had me thinking I was in for a surprisingly decent action movie. I couldn't have been more wrong, and I'm going to take an educated guess now and say that by the time the opening weekend is over, that rating number will hover in the high 60s/low 70s. Is it fun? Sporadically. Is it worth actually spending money on to see in theaters? Absolutely not. This one's strictly a 'catch it on cable when you can add your own dialogue track' sort of movie. It's made to be heckled, but that's frowned on in theaters for the most part.
It's so ridiculous and dumb I can't even stretch this review to more than four paragraphs to talk about it. The acting's horrible, Arnold is still one of the most difficult 'actors' to understand, and the plot is ludicrous. Prime example: a drug cartel leader drives hundreds of miles to a place he's never been before while being chased by the FBI and various law enforcement agencies, all while guided by a GPS that apparently is so amazing it leads him through a cornfield in the middle of nowhere to a bridge that doesn't exist on any maps because it's just been built! And when your favorite goofy deputy gets shot and is on death's door, you drive him to a hospital - not a police station! That groan you hear is the frustration I'm feeling thinking back to scene after scene of this sort of nonsense.
And, yes, I fully realize it's meant to be a dumb action/popcorn movie that's all about the stunts and not about the story. And The Last Stand has some truly cool action sequences as well as Johnny Knoxville providing comic relief (obviously he was the only cast member in on the joke). But seriously, how difficult would it have been to put together a script that allowed Arnold to show he's not too old to kick ass while also not treating the audience like total mindless action movie zombies that don't deserve better?
The Last Stand was directed by Kim Jee-Woon and is rated R for strong bloody violence throughout and language.
Theatrical Release: January 18, 2013