To be fair, he did say he’d be back. Governator no more, Arnold Schwarzenegger straps on his gunbelt, laces up his ass-kicking boots and dons a comically oversized ten-gallon hat for this nuts-and-bolts actioner. ‘The Last Stand’ has a lot going for it. The plot is simplicity itself – a Mexican drug lord in a 1000-horsepower Corvette is headed for the Mexican border, with only grizzled old Sheriff Ironballs standing in his way. The director is Kim Jee-Woon, whose incoherent but inventive Korean back catalogue (‘The Good, the Bad ,the Weird’, ‘I Saw the Devil’) showcases a master of the explosive setpiece. And let’s face it, when he’s on form, Arnie is a very watchable leading man.
So it’s disappointing that so much here falls flat: the dialogue is risible, the characterisation nonexistent and the film’s fetishistic obsession with military-grade assault weaponry and civilian vigilantism feels incredibly ill-timed. Kim’s direction is disappointingly functional, with only the occasional glimpse of the old magic, while Arnie just looks tired. The result is diverting enough for a low-expectations Friday night, but the ingredients were in place for something more.