Last Action Hero

  • Review Date: August 21, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1993

Common Sense Media says

Arnold spoofs action movies, adds more violence.
  • Review Date: August 21, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1993

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Lots of sociopathic behavior here, including stealing cars, killing people, plotting to blow people up.

Violence

Excessive violence with plenty of gun shots, explosions, punches, and kicks. Nerve gas is used and people fall through glass skylights. Jack's son is pushed off a building and falls to his death. Jack is shot in the chest and nearly dies; He coughs blood. Danny is held captive and pushed over a building, nearly dying. Jack's daughter is kidnapped and slapped. A body flies through a windshield. Someone is electrocuted.

Sex

Jack mentions premature ejaculation. Models in lingerie, including thongs, run around. Ashley kisses Danny. A prostitute offers herself to Benedict.

Language

Some salty language, including "hell," "damn," "goddamn," "smart ass," "asshole," "s--t," and "f--k."

Consumerism

The film is a commercial for other action stars and films, including Sylvester Stallone, E.T., Basic Instinct, Terminator, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Jack smokes cigars. People talk about cocaine and crack houses. Several other characters smoke cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this spoof/critique of action films has itself an excessive amount of violence, explosions, and killings. While kids may love this, the sheer number of people who are killed or plotted to be killed (at least 15) make it too much for younger kids. Jack's son is killed and daughter kidnapped, and Danny nearly dies as well. Jack is shot and nearly dies, bubbling up blood from his mouth. Also, several characters smoke.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In LAST ACTION HERO, Danny (Austin O'Brien) is the lonely child of a single mom (Mercedes Ruehl) who would rather live in the fantasy world of action movies about fictional cop Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger) than in the real world of lonely nights, homework, and trying to make friends. When movie projectionist Frank (a great cameo by legend Art Carney) gives Danny a magic ticket, suddenly Danny isn't watching the new Jack Slater movie -- he's in the car with Jack as he shoots at the bad guys. As Jack's partner, Danny tells him about the conventions of the genre -- the cheesy catch phrases and how bad-guy henchman Benedict (Charles Dance) really feels about his boss. When Benedict gets a hold of the magic ticket and starts wreaking havoc in the real world, Jack and Danny must get back to prevent carnage at the world premiere of the film.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Settle in for a long viewing experience that's less an action movie proper than a send-up of the action movie genre. You get the feeling that this film is Schwarzenegger's fantasy: Sick of his role as an action hero and his films' predictable plots, the star now skewers what made him famous. He also lampoons an action hero's debonair image: Divorced Jack lives in a furnitureless apartment overlooking a freeway. He's just as lonely as Danny and even tells Danny not to idolize him the way he does -- a great, down-to-earth message for celeb-obsessed kids.

The other fun thing about Last Action Hero is all the movie references. Watch for shout-outs to Terminator, Basic Instinct, and other genre-defining movies -- How many can you spot? But playing "spot the reference" won't stop viewers from getting bored with the long running time. And the two-movies-in-one format is unwieldy at times. It gets too caught up with catering to action-movie fans before it gets to the interesting stuff -- like how an action star would adjust to the real world. For instance, Jack is thrilled to just talk to a woman he meets instead of doing what an action hero would do: ogle her, hit on her, or ignore her. Fewer killings and more thoughtful moments like this would have made Last Action Hero a more well-rounded movie.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the critique this film makes of action films. List some of the differences between the movie world and the real world. What does this film tell you about the world the movie industry creates? How realistic is it? At times, do you believe that the movie world is an accurate depiction of the real world? Why? When?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 18, 1993
DVD release date:October 7, 1997
Cast:Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin O'Brien, F. Murray Abraham
Director:John McTiernan
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:131 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:strong action sequences.

This review of Last Action Hero was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old Written byKidWhoReviewsStuff April 17, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

The perfect action flick that is bound to entertain people aged 9 and up

Awesome Schwarzenegger movie with lots of violence. Everything from shooting, to stabbing, to blowing people up is all included. There's also a prostitute in one scene that offers herself. Curse words like the f word are included. People smoke and talk about drugs at points. The movie advertises Coca Cola, Texaco, Planet Hollywood, Sylvester Stallone, E.T and even references to movies including Nightmare on Elm Street and King Kong.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old Written bywill_turner April 9, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

a must see!

so funny! this film has a funny moment at a funaral when the dead guy has a bomb inside him.

Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn February 19, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

A memorable mess. Older tween's+ only

The Last Action Hero is still considered to be a massive box office disappointment, all these years later. Released in the summer of 1993 and surrounded by intense media buzz, marketing and promises to be the summer movie ticket of 1993, but instead, Jurassic Park cleaned house and torn it to shreds, leaving The last Action Hero almost completely forgotten and left in the dust, a mere month later. Now, there is still some real talent in this movie, with directing from john Mctiernan (Predator, Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October), and of course featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, but if that wasn't enough, it featured and absolutely star-studded list of cameos from the biggest actors at the time, including Robert Patrick, Sharon Stone, F. Murray Abraham and even a voice job done by Danny DeVito. Now, the story itself is actually rather imaginative and all, with a action movie obsessed boy being sucked into the world of action movies, and tagging along with Arnold Schwarzenegger, but underneath all of that is just some sub-par action sequences, obnoxious acting by the kid actor, awful cinematography a script that never ever even came close to sustaining the films spectacularly overlong 130 minute running time. Oh well. So, this movie is Rated PG-13, and as such, the content is fairly run-of-the-mill and about as average as you would expect it to be There is frequent action violence with many killings, shootings and explosions.. Also, there is frequent crude humor and innuendo, with a few jokes about premature ejaculation, several show girls running around in thongs and an attractive female character wearing extremely tight fitting outfits. Also, there is frequent cigar smoking and even a few references to cocaine, drug dealers and crack houses. And, finally, there is frequent but fairly average profanity, with a few uses of h-ll, sh-t, g-dd-mn,d-mn, a--h-le and a--. So, while i know that this movie has become some sort of a cult classic over the year, that is perfectly fine, and all the best to the fans, but for me, I prefer True Lies vastly over this.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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