A Maniac in a Fartmobile: Reflections on Arnold, January Movies, and Metallica
Look, I know, it’s January. Reviewing a movie released in January is like trying to write a restaurant review about a package of Skittles. January is the Spanx under which movie studios hide their most embarrassing, flabby attempts at profit. You might as well have to sign a terms and conditions agreement on the way in, promising not to expect much or think about the film beyond something to occasionally grunt at while you hork down a paint bucket of cola. But fine, I like dumb things. Pass me the tack hammer and hit me with your finest catchphrase.
Lionsgate did their best to build buzz around The Last Stand like it was a real movie, hiring culty Korean director Kim Jee-woon (The Good, the Bad, the Weird) and sending Arnold Schwarzenegger on a goodwill tour that included a Reddit AMA and tank rides for Los Angeles film writers at a junket-carnival. But nothing Lionsgate can do will paper over the giant flashing light that says “PAYCHECK! PAYCHECK! PAYCHECK!” once the movie begins. The Last Stand plays like a commercial for a videogame meets a commercial for a car meets a trailer for “Arnold Schwarzenegger: Movie Star.” It’s both too dumb and not dumb enough.