I may get straight down to business. The Austrian Oak makes his long awaited return to the big screen in a starring role, and it is in typical Schwarzenegger style. I have no doubt that he was given such a safe role for his return, doing what he has always done, and what he does best, and that is shoot guns as quickly as he shoots one-liners, giving us a great mix of violence and humor in equal proportions.
As a nostalgia point of view, it was great to see Schwarzenegger back in action, even if he is a little older, he still hits as hard as ever (but maybe just a little slower).
SO the juice of this movie is a former LA cop turned small town sherriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) has the nice quiet life he wants, but on his day off he is given a call that a drug lord Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) is heading his way on his way back to Mexico. The man leading the investigation FBI agent John Bannister(Forest Whitaker) warns Ray to stay away, but he isn't about to let criminals run through his town, and although his police force is small he enlists the help of local wierdo Lewis Dinkum (Johnny Knoxville) and locked up trouble-maker Mike Figuerola (Luis Guzmán). Ray is going to make sure he does everything he can to make sure Cortez does not make it to Mexico.
The movie is following the age-old formula of all Schwarzenegger movies, but unfortunately, once you get over the nostalgia and screen presence of the main man, this movie doesn't really offer anything new, and to be fair it is pretty thin. Don't get me wrong this movie is great fun for any fan or Arnie, but your average movie-goer will not appreciate this movie in quite the same way.
Something that may have gone under the radar with a lot of people due to the media frenzy surrounding the Governator, is that this was the American debut of director Kim Ji-woon. I think he has given us a very stylish movie, with some great spots, and I hope he is given another shot in America, no doubt he will following this movie.
We all know the acting in a movie of this sort is going to be questionable, but we do get some decent performances. I do like the work Forrest Whittaker does, and I think he gives us a solid performance, as does Eduardo Noriega. We all know what to expect from Schwarzenegger, and we get some great comic relief from Luis Guzmán who has a great performance here. I am not a fan of Johnny Knoxville and he is his usual self here (which is not a good thing). I just don't seem to be able to take him seriously as an actor, and think he plays exactly the same character in every movie he has been in.
So over all the acting is questionable, I won't go into detail about the plotholes, as the action and humor seem to patch over them. So we get a half decent action movie that we don't really need to think to much about, so live your brain at home, ignore the wooden action and just enjoy it for what it is.
One last question I want to throw out to anyone who has seen this movie. Cortez steals a state-of-the-art sports car, but he manages to travel across America without ever having to stop for fuel? Is it just me or is that slightly strange. Hmmmm.....