HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moonchild
Verite, La
Guilty, The
Stranger in the House
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Last Action Hero There's Got to Be a Way, to... Blockbustaaah!Buy this film here.
Year: 1993
Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin O'Brien, Charles Dance, Mercedes Ruehl, Robert Prosky, F. Murray Abraham, Anthony Quinn, Tom Noonan, Ian McKellen, Art Carney, Colleen Camp, Sharon Stone, Tina Turner, Jean Claude Van Damme, James Belushi
Genre: Comedy, Action, Fantasy
Rating:  6 (from 5 votes)
Review: There's a hostage situation and one of Los Angeles' most notorious criminals, The Ripper (Tom Noonan) has taken a bunch of kids prisoner and has just thrown the cop sent to save them off the roof. Who can save them now? Surely not Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the maverick lawman approaching over the roofs of the patrol cars, punching out the lieutenant governor and heeding no warnings from his chief to turn around? But yes, and Slater reaches the roof to confront the bad guy, except that things don't go according to plan - for a start, the film is out of focus and little Danny (Austin O'Brien) has to go to the projection room to see what's up...

In 1993, it was unthinkable that Arnold Schwarzenegger would star in a flop; his last film had been Terminator 2, after all. But that summer, most people wanted to see Jurassic Park, and the mishmash that was Last Action Hero failed to find much of an audience. The main problem is that the Jack Slater movie is presumably designed to make you think, "Isn't that just what blockbusters are like?" when in fact it's nothing of the sort. What the question actually being posed is, "You weren't stupid enough to believe all this action movie baloney, were you?" If anything is being shot, it's the moviemakers shooting themselves in the foot.

Is it supposed to be serious? In the film within a film, Slater's son dies. But, then again, it has elements of spoof - how seriously would anyone take it if Jack Slater was a genuine film? It's difficult to believe it would reach its fourth instalment. So when Danny is given a magic movie ticket in real life by projectionist Robert Prosky, he enters the world of the movie and never shuts up about it to the characters, who don't see anything amiss about car chases where only the bad guys get hurt, or beautiful women as far as the eye can see. Yet when the real world is depicted, it's just the same as the movie world, except that Slater will occasionally hurt his hand or trip.

This is because inevitably Slater has to get into our world, something which happens when the ticket falls into the wrong hands. Those wrong hands belonging to Benedict, who is played by Charles Dance and a villain who needs a better movie, both in fiction and actuality. He enters the scuzzy New York of Danny's existence, and it turns out to be simply a variation on the action movie world in that criminals get away with it until someone with a huge gun comes along and puts a stop to them. Really, the film has quite a cheek when it comes to representing what they think we're dumb enough to accept in our big budget entertainment - so much for post-modernism.

And yet, despite its faults, somehow it remains interesting - there's always something going on, and at least it's ambitious. Schwarzenegger playing essentially a fake version of the characters he usually offers us is certainly arresting, even if the supposed sense of humour he puts on display doesn't convince completely, a little like the film's comedic aspects - it can't shake its blockbuster aspirations. Compare it to Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo, which this could be a heavily-tweaked remake of, and you see this needs a better grasp of irony, and even subtlety that director John McTiernan does not feel confident with, never mind his cast and writers. Call it a one-off... they'll never try anything like this again, it's like being told your diet of fast food is bad for you - so try another burger. Watch for: "movie movie" cameos by stars like Sharon Stone, Tina Turner, Jean Claude Van Damme, even Ian McKellen as Death. Music by Michael Kamen.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4923 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John McTiernan  (1951 - )

American producer and director with a flair for action blockbusters. After self-written horror Nomads, he hit the big time with three successes: Predator, Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October, but after two flops, Medicine Man and Last Action Hero, he returned to familiar territory in Die Hard With A Vengeance. Subsequent films include the troubled The 13th Warrior and two remakes, a fair attempt at The Thomas Crown Affair, and a disastrous one at Rollerball.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: