Last Action Hero (1993)

Genre: Action/Adventure

Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charles Dance, Ian McKellen

Synopsis: A kid gets sucked into an alternate movie universe thanks to a magical ticket. Whilst there he meets his idol, the Governator, and together they embark on a mission to stop a hilarious British stereotype.

First and foremost, I apologize for my absence this past week. I have been busy doing numerous things ranging from eating, drinking, sleeping, and generally being merry. Also, I got a job! T’was truly a Christmas miracle. Thank you baby Jeebus. Starting in January I shall be a journalist for a legal publication. It’s very exciting to think that I will be writing for a living and I can’t wait to start. Hopefully I’ll still have plenty of time to write this blog so fret not. Having said that this will be my last post of 2012, which is rather sad. I decided to end 2012 with a bang and watch something good. I wanted to watch Monkey Shines which is a film about a quadriplegic who gets a helper monkey that turns out to be a psychic serial killer. My brother wanted to watch Last Action Hero. We eventually went with the latter but I fully intend to watch Monkey Shines soon so don’t worry.

I have to say that I was surprised by how much depth was actually in Last Action Hero. It is by far the smartest movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger has been in and it’s a film that was blessed with intelligent screenwriters who knew cinema and the rules of genres very well. When it was released it was panned but I like to think that critics didn’t understand the subtleties of it. I mean sure it’s not exactly Oscar worthy but it has a lot of heart. The writers understood the magic of movies and the alternate movie universe is cleverly constructed to reflect the rules and stereotypes of specific genres. That’s what made the movie so enjoyable: you can see the love and craftsmanship in this picture. The acting can be a bit crap at times but it wasn’t enough to destroy the movie. I loved that the movie toys with the notion of a movie in a movie and the nod to Hamlet, perhaps the original meta examination in an entertainment medium, was inspirational. This is what I meant when I said that the brilliance was subtle and took me by surprise.

Of course, being high, you begin to ask intriguing questions like if you could enter into any movie genre which would it be and why, assuming you had to live by the rules of that genre and learn the lessons of it? For instance, it would be a bad idea to enter into a horror movie if you’re not a virgin and you have no idea who the killer is. My brother said that he would love to go into a sci-fi movie like Ghost in the Shell or Blade Runner. I found that a little ambitious though. I would love to enter into the Studio Ghibli world because it would be so easy to follow along! All you’d have to do is bake a pie and then invite Kiki along to pick it up or be a cynical teenager in order to meet some sort or magical woodland creature that would change your outlook on life. With so many options, what would you choose?

High-lights:

  • The action Hamlet scene was pretty brilliant, especially the death of Polonius.
  • Realizing that anti-British stereotypes in Hollywood are still pretty positive. We’re all classy sons of bitches!
  • The scene where Arnold hears Mozart for the first time was pretty clever. It showed the writers actually thought about the realities of such a situation and the differences between a movie world and the real world.
  • Ian McKellen is a pimp. My brother practically had a fit as a fan of Ingmar Bergman.

Downers:

  • The kid is this awful kind of gritty 80s poor where he gets mugged in his own apartment. That’s bleak.
  • The acting isn’t great. Maria Shriver was perhaps the best…you can practically smell the bitterness and martinis on her breath.

Summary:

Not exactly a classic but still a good watch. The movie presents surprising insight and wit which would make it good to watch with strains that provide cerebral and creative highs but, if you prefer body highs, then there is still a lot to like about this movie which contains all the staples of a good action movie; it’s a movie with flexibility.

7/10

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3 Comments

Filed under Action/Adventure, Good

3 responses to “Last Action Hero (1993)

  1. goat

    Oh, dude. You have never been Monkey Shines? I envy you being able to see it for the first time again…Romero’s great overlooked thriller that’s also funny as hell. The book it is based on (same name, can never remember the author) similarly rocks.

  2. Haha love it and came out the year of my birth 😀

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