The Last Stand

  • Review Date: January 17, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2013

Common Sense Media says

Arnie's lawman vs. outlaw action tale gets pretty bloody.
  • Review Date: January 17, 2013
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2013

Age(i)

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11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The Last Stand's overwhelming message (amid lots and lots of action violence) is that even a small group of people can make a big difference. The sheriff and four deputies manage to defeat a criminal druglord who's outsmarted the FBI. The movie also espouses the military ideals that you never leave one of your own, that you don't let your fellow soldiers die in vain, and that, even if you're outnumbered, it's your duty to defend your home and your people.

Positive role models

Sheriff Owens is completely devoted to his town. He goes beyond the scope of his job (albeit in a sometimes violent way) to help the FBI stop a murderous drug cartel kingpin from escaping U.S. borders. His deputies sacrifice their time -- and, in one case, their life -- for the cause. There are clear lines between "good guys" and "bad guys."

Violence

There's a high body count, and people die in all sorts of ways. Being shot is the most common (some at close range, with blood spurting out of the bodies), but others are blown apart (limbs are strewn around), thrown off the side of a building, crashed into, etc. The sheriff and the prisoner get into a prolonged hand-to-hand fight that's bloody but not deadly.

Sex

Two passionate kisses: one between the escaped prisoner and his hostage and the other between exes who reconcile. In one scene, a criminal remarks on a female character's body and says he would "kill for that ass" as he points a gun at her.

Language

Frequent but not constant use of words including "motherf---er," "f--k," "a--hole," "bitch," "s--t," "d--k," "hell," "ass," "damn," and more. Exclamations like "Jesus Christ!" and "goddammit!" are also used.

Consumerism

The escaped prisoner drives in a customized Chevy Corvette ZR1, and parts of the movie seem like a commercial for the performance sports car (which costs more than $100,000). And, later on, the sheriff saves the day in the mayor's Chevy Camaro; he also has a Chevy truck, and the government agents drive in Suburbans. The main character wears a Timberland fleece in one scene.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

An adult character is shown drinking beer in one scene, and another man is locked up for drunken and disorderly conduct (but he's sobered up by the time he's introduced).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Last Stand is an old-school action flick starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. There's a high body count and lots of bloody violence (shootings, explosions that lead to strewn limbs, etc.), as well as frequent strong language ("motherf---er," "a--hole," "bitch," etc.), but no sexuality beyond a couple of kisses. Families concerned with consumerism should note that the film features plenty of Chevy vehicles and references to a particular very expensive Corvette. Ultimately, despite the movie's violence, at its core it has a decent message about protecting your home, your friends, and your town.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the sheriff of Somerton, a small Arizona border town. On a weekend when nearly the town's entire population is off at an away high school football game, Owens stays behind to enjoy a day off. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), a billionaire Mexican drug kingpin, escapes a top-secret transport to federal prison. FBI Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) leads the effort to recapture Cortez, who's taken off in a high-tech Corvette with another agent as his hostage. As Cortez drives toward Somerton to cross back into Mexico, Sheriff Owen and his deputies get embroiled in the pursuit. But Cortez and his henchmen, led by the ruthless Burrell (Peter Stormare), are willing to kill everyone left in town to get their boss to safety.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Korean director Jee-woon Kim already has a cult following for his various genre films (I Saw the Devil, A Tale of Two Sisters), and, in his English-language debut, he takes on one of the elder statesman of action: Schwarzenegger. Kim manages to feature all that's great about the older star without ignoring his age (at one point, Cortez even calls him Abuelito/grandpa). The Terminator might be close to retirement, but he still knows how to shoot various men with finesse and also manage to be the emotional center of the film (he's especially sweet as the mentor to young deputy Jerry Bailey, played by Friday Night Lights alum Zach Gilford).

There's a decent balance between THE LAST STAND's action -- a lot of which is definitely explicit, like when a goon gets literally blown to pieces -- and the humor, most of which is courtesy of comic actor Luis Guzman, one of Owens' deputies, and Johnny Knoxville, who plays Somerton's vintage gun aficionado. The subplots aren't particularly deep: the beautiful deputy's ex-boyfriend, a former Marine, is conveniently in custody, and Cortez's pretty hostage is quickly revealed to be all too compliant. But despite a few laughable moments, The Last Stand is an amusing -- albeit violent -- vehicle for Schwarzenegger, who has yet to say "hasta la vista" to the genre he so skillfully mastered.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the amount of violence in The Last Stand. If it had been slightly less bloody, do you think that would have changed the impact? Did some of the deaths seem gratuitous, or were they necessary to the plot?

  • How is The Last Stand a classic example of the "lawman vs. outlaw" genre? Was there any doubt who would win in the end? Does it make the movie less enjoyable if you know the action star is bound to get the bad guy?

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger makes several jokes about being old. Do you think he's past his prime as an action star, or does the "old man" still have decent moves?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 18, 2013
DVD release date:May 21, 2013
Cast:Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Peter Stormare
Director:Jee-woon Kim
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:107 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong bloody violence throughout, and language

This review of The Last Stand was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
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  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Kid, 11 years old January 22, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Just depends how mature your child is

Gets pritty bloody let only your mature child see this violent
Film honestly it's okay for pre teens but has strong
Bad language and bloody violence

Parent Written byShivom Oza January 17, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

The Last Stand (2013) Review by Shivom Oza – Doesn’t Stand A Chance

The dreaded leader of a drug cartel escapes out of an FBI van and sets off in his speed demon, Corvette ZR1, to the Mexican border. An innocuous sheriff, along with inexperienced accomplices, tries his best to stop the escapee.

While the action (comprising several chase sequences) in the film is above-par, the story just doesn’t make the cut. Arnold Schwarzenegger ambles away as the leading man, but even he looks tired and disinterested. The writing, which includes the plot and the dialogues, is not strong enough and at two hours, the film doesn’t have enough steam to hold your attention.

After leaving his LAPD narcotics post following an unsuccessful operation, Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger) moves out and settles down in the peaceful Summerton Junction as the Sheriff. However, the peace gets marred when Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), a dreaded drug kingpin, escapes from the FBI’s clutches. With assistance from Burrell (Peter Stormare) and his men, Cortez speeds away towards the US-Mexico border at breath-taking speed in a modified Corvette ZR1 with a captured hostage. FBI agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) will have his final chance to nab Cortez at Summerton, before he makes the final dash across the border. That’s when Ray and his team come in!

The film doesn’t offer much, in terms of action, story, thrills or Arnold! Yes, even the mega-action star fails to salvage anything out of this lost cause. There are a couple of scenes, one wherein Cortez escapes and another where one of Ray’s men goes berserk over the villains, which manage to hold your unwavering attention. However, at two hours, the film is too long and tedious. The ‘emotional’ moments in the film don’t strike a chord, and you may hardly guffaw, as several supposedly funny gags play out on the screen.

Director Jee-woon Kim could have done better with a cleverer script. ‘The Last Stand’ doesn’t stand a chance!

Shivom Oza

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bylandon coady March 25, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

2

too much blood and f'words

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

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