The Last Stand

Had I realized that this Johnny Knoxville person from the posters was one of the people in those Jackass movies, I probably would have suffered through Broken City instead, since Mama looked about three times too scary for me. Thankfully, my ignorance led me in a good direction this time, because despite his high billing, he's only got about five scenes and therefore never has enough time to start being truly annoying as village idiot Lewis Dinkum. He names everything he owns and has an unhealthy fascination with large guns.

Arnold Schwarzenegger (most recently of The Expendables) is Ray Owens, sheriff of an Arizona town called Sommerton. They don't say why the guy with the thick Austrian accent is named Ray Owens, but we're probably supposed to assume that he was born Reinhard Ochs or something like that. There's also some confusion as to whether it's Sommerton Junction or just Sommerton; in the dialogue they most often say Sommerton Junction but most of the time when it's written out it's just Sommerton. There's an actual town in that area called Somerton, one M, so maybe they decided halfway through that they'd better make it sound a little more fictional or something.

The point is, it's a small, sleepy town, with just three deputies: Luis Guzmán (The Taking of Pelham 123) is Mike Figuerola, aka Figgy, Zach Gilford is Jerry, and Jaimie Alexander (Sif from Thor), is Sarah. She's perhaps the most sensible of the three, but even so, she gets caught playing with stuff at a crime scene, so it's good that it's a sleepy town.

Unfortunately, it is sleepy no longer, since there's a movie and all. Eduardo Noriega (Vantage Point) is third-generation crime boss Gabriel Cortez, who's being transferred from Las Vegas to federal death row. Naturally he doesn't want to go there, so he bribes everyone he can find and arranges a dramatic escape. Now he's behind the wheel of a Corvette ZR1, which is a real car, though they call it a Zero-One as a clever disguise. It's super-souped-up, and Cortez is a race car driver, so he's heading for the border at somewhere around 180 mph. He's also got an FBI agent named Ellen (Genesis Rodriguez, Man on a Ledge) sitting next to him in handcuffs so no one is tempted to just destroy the car.

I know next to nothing about cars, but that thing moves. Of course it also gets 21 miles to the gallon at best, so if my calculations are correct, it would just barely make it to the border starting with a full tank. Honestly, when I started figuring that, I was sure I'd discover that they would have had to stop for gas somewhere. Anyway, Ellen's boss is John Bannister, played by Forest Whitaker (Repo Men) who was also in Vantage Point with Eduardo, though I don't think they were ever both in the same scene for more than a second.

Nobody expects the guy to go through Sommerton, which is sleepy partly because there's no bridge to cross the canyon and go into Mexico. So of course that's exactly what he does, because enough money can fix anything, and he has the usual big bad guy knack of planning everything to the smallest detail. But Ray has a score to settle with this guy, and Ray is no small detail.

Peter Stormare of Lockout is here as Cortez's main henchman, though for some reason they make the poor guy try to sound southern instead of letting him use his usual wonderful Swedish accent.
And rounding out the cast is Rodrigo Santoro, who was Xerxes in 300, as Sarah's ex-boyfriend Frank, who she's just had to arrest for drunk and disorderly. Awkward.

The plot is thin, the single plot twist will probably surprise no one, and most of the action is deeply improbable. It was also totally fun to watch. I mean, it has its eye-rolling moments, too, and at one point Forest Whitaker has a line that isn't supposed to be funny at all, but it forced me to clap my hand over my mouth so I wouldn't actually laugh out loud and annoy everyone in the theatre. So that was awkward, too. But while you might feel a little guilty for enjoying it, you probably will enjoy it. Three and three-quarters out of five. Don't look at the box office; look at the imdb rating if you don't believe me.

Arnold, Sarah, and Frank are bemused to learn that Lewis has a gun named Vicki.


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