"Honor and Justice Prevail"
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back where he probably belongs – in the movies. His first real starring role after playing governor for California is THE LAST STAND, an R-rated action movie about a bordertown sheriff and his deputies holding off a Mexican drug lord and his gang. THE LAST STAND is very entertaining, with some interesting twists that add to the excitement. It also has a strong moral worldview. For example, it promotes American, biblical values like justice, honor and integrity. This positive content is offset, however, by abundant foul language and lots of bloody gun violence. So, extreme caution is strongly recommended.
Arnold plays Ray Owens, a small town sheriff planning on taking the weekend off because most people are out of town with the high school football team’s next game. Two mysterious truck drivers pass through the local diner. This piques Ray’s concern, so he orders his deputies to run the two men’s license plate.
At the same time, a super-fast car has been stolen from a Los Angeles car show and a Mexican drug lord, Gabriel Cortez, has escaped FBI custody in Las Vegas. A big hunt for Cortez reveals he’s taken a FBI agent custody and is now headed toward the Mexican border in the fast car.
The FBI’s agent in charge alerts Sheriff Ray that his town might be a second choice for Cortex’s border crossing. However, when Ray’s deputies discover someone has murdered a local farmer, Ray suspects Cortez has picked their town as his first choice. Sure enough, Cortez’s gang is building a makeshift bridge over the local river gorge separating Mexico from the USA. To get there, however, Cortex will have to go straight through main street. So, Ray deputizes a local gun nut and his female deputy’s ex-boyfriend, a military veteran, to help him stop Cortex and his gang.
In many ways, THE LAST STAND is a typical Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie. Several things make it stand out, however. First, it’s almost like a western action thriller, not the crime thriller it may at first glance seem. This also makes it an atypical Arnold action movie. Second, despite some goofy, corny content throughout, the acting is pretty good, and the ending has some very clever action scenes with plenty of suspense. For example, during the big gun battle in the town, there are some clever, funny scenes featuring some diner patrons and an elderly woman with a shotgun. Also, there’s several cat and mouse scenes during the big gun battle and afterwards. Thus, the second half of THE LAST STAND is shot and directed very well.
However, THE LAST STAND does have abundant foul language and lots of very strong violence with some blood. For example, one bad guy gets blown up, and the movie shows a close-up of one of his severed arms. Also, guns play a big role in all the violence, a feature that has come under much deserved criticism in the wake of recent massacres involving schoolchildren.
These problems aside, the main thrust of the story is fighting and stopping ruthless bad guys. The heroes are the police and the FBI. The movie also extols Small Town America, USA. Finally, the evil villain has bribed one FBI agent and tries to bribe Arnold’s sheriff character with millions of dollars. However, the sheriff says his honor is more important. “Besides,” he tells the Mexican villain, “you make us immigrants look bad.”
Thus, THE LAST STAND places strong, positive moral value on personal and public honor, protecting the people and their homes, standing up to evil, owning guns, justice, and perseverance. Despite some strong profanities, there’s also a positive reference to Jesus and one to God. That said, extreme caution is advised because of the R-rated content.
(BB, PP, C, LLL, VVV, A, M) Strong moral, Pro-American worldview in R-rated action movie about a sheriff and his deputies fighting back against a ruthless Mexican drug lord and his gang as they try to flee for the Mexican border, with an offhand but positive remark about Jesus and an appeal to God in one line, but frequent foul language and gun violence; about 82 obscenities (many “f,” “s” and “h” words), nine strong profanities, and six light profanities; very strong violence with some blood spurting and bloody wounds include man explodes, and movie shows his legs and two arms separated form the rest of his body, man shot in head point black, close-ups of glass wound and knife wound in man’s pants leg, extended gun battles, criminals shoot FBI officers and policemen dead with guns and machine guns, policeman shot in stomach with blood shown, car chases and crashes, hand-to-hand combat, old farmer standing on tractor shot suddenly in the head and his body is jerked very quickly off tractor by the force of the bullet, people shot in shoulders, explosions; no sex; no nudity; patrons at diner drink beer in bottles, and sheriff has a beer at home; no smoking or drug content, though villain is said to be a drug lord; and, fleeing criminal villain kidnaps FBI agent to use as hostage, one FBI agent turns out to be working for the villain, bribery, attempted bribery, hero calls a character a schmuck two times.
THE LAST STAND stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Sheriff Ray Owens. Ray expects to spend a quiet weekend off duty in the border town he policies. However, a ruthless Mexican drug lord has escaped FBI custody in Vegas and is heading Ray’s way. Meanwhile, the Mexican’s gang has set up shop in the countryside, waiting for their boss to get there in the fast car he stole. They’ve built a makeshift bridge over the small river gorge into Mexico. Ray marshals his deputies and a couple local citizens to protect the center of town, the only road to the bridge.
THE LAST STAND is very entertaining. The second half is particularly well shot and directed. However, the movie does have abundant foul language and lots of very strong violence with some blood. The violence also involves many guns. These problems aside, the story’s main thrust is fighting and stopping ruthless bad guys. The heroes are the police and the FBI. Thus, THE LAST STAND has a strong moral worldview promoting honor, justice, and good over evil. That said, extreme caution is advised.