Movie #349 2020: Last Action Hero (1993)

Oh, Arnie. Back he is again, with more of his action shenanigans.

Last Action Hero is an action parody movie of sorts. Well, it’s a movie within a movie that parodies action movies. Yes, confusing. It’s the story of a young kid who is obsessed with the fictional Jack Slater, of a fictional movie franchise. A magical ticket transports the kid into his favourite movie when he is alone in the cinema one day, and he finds himself a part of the action on screen. The lines become ever more blurred when he and Jack (Schwarzenegger) end up back in the real world, and Arnold Schwarzenegger ends up at his movie premiere… with Jack Slater. I promise it’s much less confusing when you’re actually watching the thing.

As you may have gathered from that haphazard synopsis, the plot? All over the place. A mess. Loved it. 

Seriously though, this is a great premise for a movie. What kid doesn’t wish they could star in their favourite film? Last Action Hero is borderline iconic these days, with Schwarzenegger simultaneously playing himself and a fictional character. In fact, this movie probably invented meta. If only they played up the spoof elements more, they might have had a more successful movie.

Don’t worry, pigs still can’t fly: there’s an absolutely awful performance from Arnie as always, but I’m gonna say it: this is the most handsome he’s ever been. Thankfully, Charles Dance is an exceptional villain and national treasure, and he makes the entire film worth the watch.

Alas, it all falls into that age old trap: this movie is way too fucking long and I’m shocked that the editors were booked for other movies again after it’s release. You could trim 30 minutes off and it would still make perfect sense. Parts of it are really entertaining, it’s just a shame that it was all haphazardly thrown together like that pile of laundry on the floor that you’ve been putting off for a week. 

Despite an exceptionally long run time and some poor editing and script choices, the music saves the director’s bacon. Using rock anthems for the entire soundtrack? Brilliant. The best thing about the movie without a doubt.

I actually liked that it all came back to the real world in the end, it’s just frustrating that it didn’t happen 20 minutes earlier. A movie that clearly has some really good elements but doesn’t know how to utilise them; it’s a decent watch, but it’s not a complete must.

Last Action Hero is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

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