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Film review: Schwarzenegger punches on in formulaic comeback

Published January 18, 2013 9:43 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The last time Arnold Schwarzenegger blew up stuff as an action hero was in 2003's "Terminator 3." While he governed California, the world changed a lot. Angst-ridden superheroes became the preferred movie heroes, recent events have made gunplay look less cool and Schwarzenegger himself became more adept at pushing pencils than punching villains. But he wants to turn back the clock in his first full return to the big screen (he had small stints in the "Expendable" movies). "The Last Stand" is just that, a repeat of his mediocre action movies of the 1980s — think more "Commando" than "Terminator 2." Schwarzenegger is a small-town sheriff charged with stopping an escaped drug lord about to drive through town on his way to Mexico. Despite stylish Korean director Jee-woon Kim ("The Good, the Bad, and the Weird," "I Saw the Devil"), "The Last Stand" is a formulaic and uninspired set piece for Schwarzenegger's big comeback. It doesn't demand too much physical stamina from the 65-year-old "Austrian Oak" — that is, save for pulling a trigger a lot — but at least his charm and magnetism haven't aged much.

vince@sltrib.com; http://www.sltrib.com/entertainment

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'The Last Stand'

Opens Friday, Jan. 18, at theaters everywhere; rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, and language; 107 minutes.