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Star - Arnold Schwarzenegger
Genre - Action
Run Time - 107 minutes
Certificate - 18R
Country - USA
Amazon -£6.75 DVD (£10.0 Blue Ray)
Awards - 1 Win (nominations)
Blockbuster Rental - £1.49 per night
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Korean director Kim Jee-Woon, the creator of three rather stylish and quirky movies called 'Bittersweet Life', 'The Good the Bad and the Weird' and 'The Tale of Two Sisters', gets his first crack at Hollywood here, the task of getting an ageing Arnold Schwarzenegger back into the swing of comedy action roles. Since retiring from public office 65-year-old Arnie dabbled with a cameo in the Expendables franchise and so clearly felt ready to return for his first movie lead for ten years since his election campaign funding Terminator 3, the public clearly missing the brainless anvil headed Austrian and his wise cracks after the 8 year hiatus.
Arnie is beginning to look his years and so no choice but to play the last action hero genre in film.... the older guy in uniform that has just enough skills to take down the bad guy but not the way he used to. Poor old Bruce Willis stumbled into the genre way too early and never escaped whilst Sly Stallone did ok with Copland. The best of all was Liam Neeson (considered for the lead in this movie) who pitched it just right with his cult classic Taken. Neeson's agent no doubt twisted his arm to do the dreadful sequel, the magic and the point long since over the horizon, the idea with this niche being that this is our hero's last swan song before retirement and the audience understands that. It's the movie career time when their hairline is as high as the A-List salary demands and they have to get real and make a choice on doing creaky old guy jokes in action movies or play dads and uncles in worthy dramas. I can't see Arnie in the later so more of the same it is. With another Terminator film down the line and sequels to Twins, Conan and more Expendables in post-production, you can see that the run for the presidency will have to wait. As terrible an actor Schwarzenegger is action cinema needs him.
* Arnold Schwarzenegger as Sheriff Ray Owens
* Forest Whitaker as Agent John Bannister
* Johnny Knoxville as Lewis Dinkum
* Jaimie Alexander as Deputy Sarah Torrance
* Luis Guzmán as Deputy Mike Figuerola
* Eduardo Noriega as Gabriel Cortez
* Rodrigo Santoro as Frank Martinez
* Peter Stormare as Thomas Burrell
* Zach Gilford as Deputy Jerry Bailey
* Génesis Rodríguez as Agent Ellen Richards
* Daniel Henney as Agent Phil Hayes
* Tait Fletcher as Eagan
* John Patrick Amedori as Agent Aaron Mitchell
* Harry Dean Stanton as Parsons
* Titos Menchaca as the Mayor
* Richard Dillard as Irv
* Doug Jackson as Harry
* Matthew Greer as Sam
Feared Mexican drug cartel boss Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) has just escaped the custody of the FBI on the way to court in the U.S, Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) losing two men in the process. With an all points bulletin issued to law enforcement across the mid-west it appears he has access to a lot of support and a very fast car, the plan to blast across the desert to the Mexican border and freedom, only local cops in his way after he shakes off the FBI helicopters at night.
With an FBI hostage in the car, Agent Ellen Richards (Génesis Rodríguez), only the small New Mexico town of Somerton stands in his way. The FBI doesn't think he will cross this way but send a warning to the local sheriff just in case. But Sheriff Ray Evans (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his deputies already know they have trouble in their small town when a local farmer (Harry Dean Stanton) ends up dead to a high velocity bullet from unknown professional killers, totally out of context for this dead end border town.
As the car races towards Somerton after busting through a police roadblock its clear Cortez is heading the Sherrifs way and this the last chance to stop the cartel boss. It appears that Somerton is totally under gunned to make a last stand, that is, until, a local eccentric gun dealer (Johnny Knoxville) offers his vast arsenal of old guns to help the Sheriffs dept defend the town, including a World War Two minigun!
Its good tongue-in-cheek B-movie fun although nothing special. Arnie looks his middle-age on screen and you can hear the creeks, the dialogue as creaky as his girdle. Even his speech sounds croaky. He had two major heart operations and an expensive divorce back in the day and it may be catching up on him. Also the signature humor and one-liners weren't sharp and it's almost like he was trying to either ease back into old Arnie stuff or ease out of the old Arnie. Either way he needs to up his game some to stay in the genre.
After a slow start Arnie's Sheriff grinds into gear and his eye narrow as the danger is identified, most of the comedy left to his deputies, Dukes of Hazzard style. As ever there's a minigun present in a Schwarzenegger movie and plenty of cop cars suitably launched into the air. But there is violence with the humor and so not suited to kids in anyway and the way Stallone got dark with the last Rambo movie in 2008. If anything that's where this film got a little confused to what its audience was.
Its did $48 million back for its mid budget $30 million production cost and so a moderate hit and that number certainly approval from cinema fans that he will be back in what is a low key return. It's almost like a 'can I still do it' movie than a neon sign he is back. The familiar lazy eye of Forrest Whitaker is again the only noticeable thing in his performance and that physical impediment continues to hold him back. But, of course, there is the dream role for every actor and Idi Amin saved his, although there was never anyone else going to play that role of a twenty stone black guy.
Imdb.com - 6.4/10.0 (69, 169 votes)
Metacrtic.com - 54% critic's approval
Rottentomatos.com - 60% critic's approval
The New Yorker -'Schwarzenegger can still hold the screen, but these days he grinds through his one-liners like a truck driver taking a steep hill ...'
Little White Lies -'An action star is (re)born'.
The Mail-'Schwarzenegger, now 65, hasn't lost his one amazing gift for being a movie's worst actor and best asset'
Comingsoon.net -'And though time has moved on, Schwarzenegger's acting hasn't'.
Financial Times -'It's good to see Arnie moving back to the kind of public service he does best.'
The Aristocrat -' .It's refreshing to watch a film that wants to be nothing more than a blood-soaked accompaniment to beer and pizza'.
Screenwise -' Mindless, dumb fun as Arnie grunts a few one liners and tries to terminate an escaped drug lord'.