The Last Stand

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Last Stand Movie Poster Image
Arnie's lawman vs. outlaw action tale gets pretty bloody.
  • R
  • 2013
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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).

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byShivom Oza January 17, 2013

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... Continue reading
Parent Written bylandon coady March 25, 2013

2

too much blood and f'words
Kid, 11 years old January 22, 2013

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
Teen, 17 years old Written bymoviewannabe June 2, 2013

Amazing thriller

This movie is amazing. Even though it's bloody and gory, it thrilled me and got me ready for R-rated movies. Though, I think kids should wait until they... Continue reading

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?

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. 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 statesmen of action. 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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love action

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