Tuesday, October 19, 2021


January 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

He’s back. Not quite a Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger nevertheless once again is making the case for old-fashioned, mindless violence in the movies with The Last Stand. Filling in for the ailing Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper suggests that the violence in the movie is about as believable as the name of Schwarzenegger’s character — Ray Owens. (“Really? He was given that name at birth?” Roeper asks.) Cleary, he writes, the movie is not for those who abhor onscreen gratuitous vioilence. “But if you’re a fan of stylish, relentlessly loud shootouts, questionable plot developments be damned, this is your ticket to weekend escapism.” That’s also the conclusion of Mark Olsen in the Los Angeles Times, who writes: “In an age when even comic book adaptations have a dour seriousness about them, this is a movie content with just being good, old-fashioned fun.” Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal also gives the movie a passing grade, for the same reason. “The movie isn’t about eloquence,” he writes. “It’s about giving Mr. Schwarzenegger a chance to take on new enemies that include advancing age.” Stephanie Merry in the Washington Post isn’t buying any of that. The movie, she writes, “persistently tries to drag the audience down to its mindless level.” Other critics, who view mindlessness as a plus, nevertheless have reservations about a film featuring such relentless violence being released so soon after the Newtown massacre. Peter Howell, in the Toronto Star notes that January is usually the time of year that such “under-nourished genre movies … are dumped upon a slumbering populace.” However, in light of the recent school shootings, he concludes, “maybe this is one January where a film like The Last Stand shouldn’t have been released as though everything is just (violent) business as usual.”