By Liz López
The well known actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, returns to the big screen after his recent roles in The Expendables y The Expendables 2, as Trench, alongside actor and filmmaker, Sylvester Stallone. The difference in this feature film, The Last Stand, is that Schwarzenegger is the protagonist once again and as in his other series of famous films, the Terminator, we already know that the characters he portrays are not going to lose the battle; regardless of anything or anyone he has to confront. Furthermore, I have to say that most of the script written by Andrew Knauer, based on his own story with assistance from Jeffrey Nachmanoff and George Nolfi, is very predictable, but at the same time keeps the viewer interested and entertained. There are some lines in the script that are very clever, but on the other hand, some of the lines are so absurd that they are laughable. Aside from the limitations of the script, the viewer will have a good time with the characters, action, drama and the humor found in the 107 minutes they will spend in the theater. I recommend it for fans that enjoy this type of entertainment, but I do warn that there are scenes of violence that are very graphic. One made me shout out loud from the surprise and it is embarrassing, but it certainly did catch me off guard.
The story is very basic in that it involves a fugitive of the FBI, Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), a Mexican citizen who seeks to return to his native country from Las Vegas, driving a high powered black Corvette. This is a race he does not expect to lose because he has plenty of well paid accomplices to help him in his escape. One point I do want to highlight about this film is that not all of the Latino actors that are part of this production are cast as the drug dealers/drug lords, their accomplices or other negative characters. Aside from Noriega, among the Latino cast is Genesis Rodriguez who portrays an FBI agent, Titos Menchaca portrays the mayor of the small town in Arizona, Luis Guzmán, portrays the assistant to Sheriff Owens (Schwarzenegger), Rodrigo Santoro, is a former military man with service in Iraq and Afghanistan, Eddie J. Fernandez portrays another FBI agent, Mario Moreno is a lawyer and Elias Gallegos, is a helicopter operator, among other cast members. Overall, the actors give an adequate performance, despite some of the lines given to Guzmán, in particular. I can only guess that in trying to make his lines come across as comedic, they sound absurd in some scenes; as if they are exaggerated, but it could be something the director, Jee-woon Kim or someone else with the production asked for this character. If the filmmakers are trying to go for Barney Fife humor for the character Guzmán portrays, it does not appeal to me.
Overall, expect to have a good time with Schwarzenegger as Sheriff Ray Owens, a former Los Angeles narcotics officer; Johnny Knoxville in the wild and outrageous character, Lewis Dinkum, Forest Whitaker as Agent John Bannister, among other cast members. Schwarzenegger is back!