January 21, 2013

The Last Stand

Nope, this isn't about the third X-Men movie. This one was more graphic, gory, and much bloodier. This Last Stand featured the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a leading role. He's done a few films recently but only as a supporting character. Get ready though, looks like he's back in the movie-making game, with several new movies lined up, according to IMDB. Also part of the cast Johnny Knoxville,  Rodrigo Santoro, Zach Gilford, Forest Whitaker, Genesis Rodriguez, Jaimie Alexander, Daniel Henney, Luis Guzman, Peter Stormare, and Edward Noriega. And let me tell you, the supporting cast for this film was plain amazing. Special mention to Zach Gilford, Jaimie Alexander and Edward Noriega. These three were really standouts in the film. Superb performances.

At first, I thought, it's not quite as good if I'll be completely honest; at least during the times no one was shooting, driving, killing another human being. The down times of the films were a little bit boring, not much happening and it was difficult to stay focused on the film. Especially the first part. Just to illustrate how dragging it was, when I felt I needed to use the restroom, I didn't feel the need to hurry back to the cinema. I took my time to casually walk to the restroom and back. Normally I wouldn't do this as I think it's a waste of money to miss even a minute of the film. However, not much was going on during that time that I knew I wouldn't be missing a lot. When I got back, I asked what I missed, and from the sounds of it, I was right on the money: nothing.

It did get better though. Much better, actually. Things started to look up. It began to take up speed and maintain a rather impressive pace. I thought the movie started moving along (it took a while, but it did get there). I thought the employment of various sub-plots finally worked. It started to be a little exciting. I guess the moment everything was pieced together was also the time the movie took off for me. The drama surrounding it was effective, the action scenes definitely provided great support for that story arc. The mood changed, for the better, and it took the movie to a new level. The atmosphere was filled with tension, and I couldn't help but feel the increasing interest in the movie. It still had some of those down moments here and there, but for the most part, the latter part of the movie worked well.

What I would say, however, was how this movie got everything right on the action scenes. The shootouts, the car chasing, the fist-fighting. This movie was golden in that aspect. As a person who truly enjoys action films, I was really satisfied with what I saw. The weaponry and the cars they used were nothing less than magnificent. Of you're a car enthusiast or obsessed with guns, you might enjoy that aspect of the film. This was a very well-choreographed action sequence. I enjoyed how daring the movie was when it took out the big toys. I appreciated how realistic, while also gruesome, the shootings were. I totally got into the danger of capturing one psychotic guy. I really have no complaints about the action element of the film. I thought it was fantastic.

I'm a little mixed in this film. At one point I started thinking it was a waste of money, then later found myself smiling, getting giddy about what I was witnessing. The film definitely had faults. Maybe more than what I would have liked. But, the film definitely deserves credit for being (eventually) entertaining, dangerous and action-packed. It had its own merits too, merits that I wouldn't deny. By the end of the movie I was really getting into it, participating in the awesomeness that was the last stretch of the movie. The final battle, the final sequence when everyone was bringing everything they got. That part of the film was true, beyond question, entertainment.The film redeemed itself for sure.

What I'm not mixed about though was how brilliant the supporting characters were, especially the deputies of the small town. Their characters provided hilarity to the film. The interactions, dialogues were comical that it added value. It also surprised me how they were able to transform themselves from funny people to serious characters. How they were able to embody the emotions required. That was some acting they did there. The cast was part of the "redeeming" qualities of the film. They were just, plain and simple, great.

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