The Last Stand blends brute force and big laughs

Brute force and big laugh feature in this easy-on-the-brain thriller.

Forest Whitaker and Arnold Schwarzenegger star in The Last Stand. Photo by Merrick Morton
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The Last Stand
Director: Kim Jee-Woon
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Jaimie Alexander, Johnny Knoxville

After supporting roles in The Expendables and its sequel, Arnold Schwarzenegger returns with his first lead in a decade.

He plays Sheriff Ray Owens, an old-fashioned lawman who runs a sleepy New Mexico border town. Getting word that a highly dangerous escaped prisoner (Eduardo Noriega) is plotting to cross into Mexico via his town - using a state-of-the-art sports car, no less - he sets out to stop him.

It's a simple idea and the Korean director Kim Jee-Woon, making his English-language debut, executes it perfectly. If The Last Stand doesn't quite have the visual brilliance of Kim's Western The Good, The Bad, The Weird, it still blends brute force and big laughs into an easy-on-the-brain thriller. And Arnie? It's good to have him back.