Requested by Eric Morris
Last Action Hero is the story of a young kid growing up in the bad parts of New York City, who gets his hands on a magical movie ticket on the night he gets to see his favorite movie series' newest film, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. And that isn't a joke, it is actually starring him. The magic ticket then sucks the kid into the movie world, where his knowledge helps him help his movie hero. Then the bag guy gets the ticket and goes to the real world, where the bad guys actually can sometimes win. They go back to the real world, stop the bad guy anyway, and then get everyone back to where they need to be (except for Death from The Seventh Seal, played by Ian McKellan, who just gets to wander the real world now).
Oh, and it has the creative force of the guy that directed Die Hard and Predator, and the writer of most of the Marvel movies including the X-Men ones and the Avengers, as well as Shane Black, the Lethal Weapon guy. Oh, and I hate this movie. This movie has so many problems. Let me talk about the good. The action is sometimes fun, most of the time ridiculous and over the top, and it is mostly shot well. Also, Schwarzenegger as Jack Slater is very fun, and oozing with charisma, as are the unique villains. And there we go, I said everything good about this movie.
Characters float in and out, the focus of the film doesn't stay consistent, and even worse, it doesn't actually know what it is trying to be. The premise is the kid is sucked into the movie he is watching. But what actually happens is he is sucked into Action-movie-land ... except that immediately just becomes "we are all cartoons, nothing makes sense, and it is all silly and ridiculous" land. And in the real world, all the stupid action cliches happen! They try to make it sound like they don't happen, but they still do. Like, the bad guy gets electrocuted, even though he's wearing rubber soled boots AND rubber gloves. Slater rips car doors off their hinges and punches through car windows without a scratch. THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN IN THE REAL WORLD!
But the real world was more ridiculous and unbelievable even before that. The kid's favorite movie theatre is a 4 story tall theatre that has an ornate and ENORMOUS viewing theater, but it is also almost completely derelict and has spray paint everywhere. Cartoonishly having 5 locks on the doors, and when the kid doesn't lock the door immediately after his mother leaves him for work, he is mugged by a guy breaking in. THIS IS NOT THE REAL WORLD!
Also, the kid. The kid is atrocious. One of the worst kid actors I've seen. He doesn't get his emotions up above a constant level of snide wonder the whole movie. He is supposed to be our viewpoint, our way into the story, the reason we are watching, but he is utterly terrible and irritating.
Honestly, I wish I could rate this movie lower. But it's overall sins are boredom and being dumb. Really dumb. Like, makes me angry dumb, because there are great ideas here! Really great ideas here! And they are all wasted. Every single good idea thrown down the toilet and ruined. Maybe what I'm saying isn't good enough though. Maybe the ideas presented are what you like. Well here, lemme help you.
- If you want to watch an action movie where a kid getting sucked into his favorite form of entertainment, watch Forbidden Kingdom
- If you want to watch a cop film about dealing with ridiculous reality bending paradigm shifts, watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit
- If you want to watch a satire on action films, watch Hot Fuzz
- If you want to watch Arnold be an interesting action character dealing with reality, watch Total Recall
There is not a single redeeming quality of this movie except that is just isn't bad enough to be terrible. It reminds me of Young Adult. It is a completely average example of its genre that had all the markings to think it was a way more clever version instead. And I never want to see it again.
Tonight I am going to see Hercules, starring the Rock. Stay tuned for a big review of it for tomorrow. If IHActionO week has taught me anything, it is that action movies can vary in huge ways between skill and enjoyment. I even have a whole nother film that came in the mail for the week, but I'll just share it another day. It is glorious! And terrible! Just like I like it. See you after Hercules! I'm real excited!
We are just over two weeks away from my amazing second rendition of Ask Me Anything! Thank you everyone who has given me questions so far, but I absolutely NEED and MUST HAVE more! So help me out, leave some questions in my ask box on Tumblr or in the comments here or on facebook or to my email or something. Any question at all. Everything and anything you want to ask will be answered, and the vast majority will be honest, and all will be entertaining. Let's get this thing going, we only got half a month to do this thing! WOOOOO!