The Last Stand (of the unimaginative film-titler)

As a kid I remember reading a newspaper article (note: newspapers were those big sheafs of printed matter that were so popular in the 20th century) about Arnold Schwarzenegger, who I only knew as a body builder and as Conan the Barbarian. The article was a puff bio-piece, and it claimed that Arnold was mocked by his friends when he started lifting weights. "Little Arnie wants to be a body-builder?" or something like that.

This resonated with me. Arnold was not handed the Mister Universe title, nor his film roles. He worked for them, and he worked quite hard. So I became an Arnold fan, and from Conan the Barbarian through Terminator 2, I saw all his movies when they hit the theaters. 

According to IMDB, which I just checked, I've seen every cinematic release he's been in since Conan the Barbarian. Even Raw Deal! I saw Eraser!

Obviously The Last Stand was on my must-see list.  

Well, it's better than Raw Deal. It's actually quite a bit of fun if you like Arnold movies.

I would like to think that I've become a bit wiser and a lot more cultured here in the fifth decade of my mortal sojourn, but I had fun at The Last Stand so that thought beginning with "I would like to think" is going to have to take a back seat to "this is why you can't have nice things."

There are plenty of things to complain about in this movie, but I'll just focus on the title. "The Last Stand" implies a certain do-or-die, dying ground sort of battle. It's not! Our heroes and their friends could have retreated at almost any time. Why did the film makers pick these three wrongly-descriptive words for this film? These words aren't even original? The exact phrase "The Last Stand" is the title of a 2006 film, a 1938 film, and a 2011 short film, and "Last Stand" appears in over 20 titles (I stopped counting at 20.) 

A better title would have said something about the film we're seeing. Here are some suggestions. 

  • The Magic School Bus: Vickers Edition
  • Chevy vs Chevy
  • Car Chase of the Corn
  • The Old Man and the C4 (They would need to put some C4 in the film. Not a problem.)

But if you're going to insist on something as hackneyed as "The Last Stand" you might seriously consider "The Buck Stops Here," or "End of the Road."

The Last Stand, dumb title notwithstanding, comes in at #2 for me this year, displacing Jack Reacher by virtue of the fact that there was a Vickers machine gun in the back of a school bus.