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Film / The Last Stand

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Cortez: You fucked up my car.
Owens: You fucked up my day off.
— The opening lines of the final confrontation.

The Last Stand is a 2013 action film centering around Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), a third generation cartel leader, who makes a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy.

Cortez is hurtling toward the Mexican border at 200 mph in a specially outfitted car, a Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, with a hostage and a fierce army of gang members. The only thing in his path is a small town and its sheriff, a former LAPD officer named Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and a couple of his deputies.

This film marks Arnold Schwarzenegger's first leading role since Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines in 2003, and him working with famed director, Kim Ji-woon. Despite this, the film barely made over its budget at the box office leading to questions about Schwarzenegger's box office drawing power in his post-political and post-divorce career.

This film provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Sarah Torrance.

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Agent Bannister refers to the Corvette as a Batmobile. Arnie would know.
    • Luis Guzman's character also produces a clone of the Atlantean Sword from Conan the Barbarian from the weapons stash before being discouraged from using it by Arnold.
    • Johnny Knoxville's character climbs a telephone pole that soon falls over, among other antics.

  • Artistic License – Law:
    • Sheriff Ray Owens asks to see Lewis Dinkum's gun permit, then threatens Dinkum with a citation for carrying a large revolver. The film takes place in Arizona, where anyone over the age of 21 may legally carry a concealed firearm without a permit, and where there is no restriction on revolvers, whatever the caliber. No citation could be given to Dinkum unless he is specifically not allowed to own a firearm based on his record.
    • Dinkum claims to be running a museum to justify the large number of firearms he owns. Throughout most of the United States, apart from a few cities like New York or Chicago, the only limit to the number of firearms a person with a clean record may legally own and possess is how many they can afford to buy. Granted, Dinkum takes it up to eleven and then some...
    • Finally, Dinkum has a Vickers machine gun which is supposed to be non-functional, but has all the parts available to repair it, which he implies would be illegal. This is true, but if Dinkum were as big a gun nut as the film presents him as, he could just get a Class-III license from BATFE and take the Vickers, the Tommy Gun, and whatever other fully-automatic weapons he may or may not have to the range whenever he wants. If he can afford all the other stuff in his garage and still pay to keep the lights on, the fee for the Class-III license should be no big deal.
  • Badass Driver: Cortez shows off some pretty good skills, by stopping a FBI swat team from interrupting his escape, by personally taking them out with just his car. It's also mentioned that he has been racing since he was just a kid.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Agent Richards finds herself thrown from a car (much to her surprise) to make her escape more realistic. When she shows up later on you'd expect her to be sporting some facial bad cuts or bruises, maybe even nursing a broken arm. She turns up with slightly dirty clothes and a barely noticeable limp. Her face remains unblemished.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Squirmy Gun Nut Dinkum and Big Fun Deputy Figuerola kill several villains in the shootout.
  • Big Bad: Gabriel Cortez.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Come on, it wouldn't be a Arnold film without this.
  • Bond One-Liner: "I'm the Sheriff."
  • Boom, Headshot!: Mr. Parsons (played by Harry Dean Stanton) is killed this way.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Burrel's revolver never seems to need reloading. Inverted with Ray's 1911, which he seems to have underloaded at first, as it runs dry after six shots.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: For a Cloudcuckoolander and Gun Nut, Lewis Dinkum knows the (fake) firearms regulations like the back of his hand and has the documentation to prove it.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Lampshaded as the FBI arrives in town by Martinez: "Heh. Here comes the cavalry..."
  • Chekhov's Armory: A literal example in Dinkum's gun collection.
  • Chekhov's Gun: At the beginning of the film the mayor gives Owens the keys to his Camaro SS (ZL1!), which comes in handy at the end of the film when Owens needs a car to chase the Big Bad.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Don't ever park your car in the fire lane.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: The deputy should've been killed by the rifle fire penetrating the car he was hiding behind, and the school bus grants surprising amounts of cover as well.
  • Cool Car: The "heavily modified" Corvette C6 ZR1, and the Camaro ZL1.
    Special Agent Bannister: Great. A psychopath with a Batmobile.
  • Cool Guns: Dinkum's "Vicky" - a belt-fed Vickers machine gun which comes in handy at the climax.
    • Burrel also has a large-caliber Colt revolver which can be simply called a Hand Cannon.
  • Corrupt Cop: Ellen Richards is one of these, having accepted a bribe from Cortez to help him escape and then aids him while posing as a hostage.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Dinkum is a bit of an odd-ball, as well as an avid collector of fire arms. Being played by Johnny Knoxville also helps.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Cortez' plan to cross the border into Mexico is to have his soldiers take over a town in the middle of nowhere and build a Bailey bridge over a small canyon that works as a natural limit for him to race over with his "Batmobile". It is so nuts that by the time Bannister finally figures out that, no, Cortez isn't going for any of the standard points to cross the border, he is worried that there is nothing the Federals can send that will intercept Cortez in time. Enter Sheriff Owens...
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Dinkum might be a bit strange, even a little crazy, but he still manages to hold his own during the shoot out and makes some pretty memorable kills.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Played for Laughs. The knitting granny Mrs. Salazar tells a Mook stalking Owens through her shop, "No trespassing!" He just blows her off, so she responds by blowing him away. It's clear she did it for more than that reason, of course, but the Mood Whiplash is what sells the scene.
    • The reaction of the mayor to seeing his wrecked Corvette and Owens' one-liner pretty much screams he believes this happened to him.
  • The Dragon: Burrel (Peter Stormare).
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Cortez had a niece, which he raised as his own child. One night, he was forced to kill her when she held him at gunpoint. Cortez is obviously bitter about having to do this, as seen when he relates this story to Richards.
  • Extremely Short Time Span: The movie begins at 8:00 a.m. and finishes the next day before nightfall.
  • Fair Cop: Genesis Rodriguez as Agent Richards (though she is literally on the bad guy's payroll) and Jaimie Alexander as Sarah Torrance.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Burrel can really walk and talk like a charismatic and friendly, neighbor-like person, but he's just a trigger-happy Wyatt Earp wannabe.
  • Feeling Their Age: Explicitly brought up with the sheriff. He's getting up in age and knows it, and the trailer highlights it.
  • Flare Gun: Lewis Dinkum shoots a fleeing bad guy with it. The flare ends up igniting his Badass Bandolier (which sets off grenades just under said bandolier), which explodes and results in a gory mess.
  • Guns Akimbo: A Mook uses this to somewhat practical effect when he gets cornered by Frank Martinez and Sarah Torrance, spraying bullets with minimal accuracy, but at least getting them to keep their heads down. But then his magazines run dry, prompting Frank to use the opening to mag-dump the guy.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: One of the mooks gets cut in half by the Vickers gun (Truth in Television at that range, by the way), and another gets his torso vaporized when his bandolier is ignited by a flare gun.
  • Hand Cannon: Lewis Dinkum's Smith and Wesson M500 revolver; he deems himself the only one able to hold and use it. Considering that Jerry nearly breaks his nose from the recoil firing it and then scares everyone else by blindly waving around it in a daze, you can see his point. Of course, he doesn't mind the sheriff using it. Burrel's Colt Dragoon revolver also counts.
  • Hope Spot: Jerry survives being shot by the villains and makes it to safety, but he soon dies of his wounds.
  • Humiliation Conga: Cortez spends most of the movie as a suave, arrogant, invincible man. He ends it beaten, battered, whining, begging, and being dragged behind Owens's car.
  • I Call It "Vera": Lewis Dinkum has a habit of naming his favorite firearms (and other things), including his Smith and Wesson M500 revolver "Georgette" and "Vicky" his 1939 Vickers machine gun.
    Ray: Do you have stupid names for all your shit?
    Lewis: Only the shit I love.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • You see a big clandestine nighttime operation run by big bruisers at the end of tracks for a murderer's getaway vehicle and the Sheriff has just ordered you to fall back, you maybe should obey his orders!
    • To say nothing of Mike's girlfriend.
      Deputy: Get off the street!
      Girlfriend: What are you doing down there?
      Deputy: Get off the street now!!
      Girlfriend: Why are you hiding behind a car?
      Deputy: Get off the damn street!!!
      Girlfriend: What's going on?
  • Informed Ability: Cortez's car, a 2011 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, is stated to be a heavily modified show car with 1000 horsepower. However, it was never shown to be extraordinarily fast. Most notable is during the car chase scene, in which a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS ZL1 was able to catch up to Cortez's ZR1, despite the fact that even a standard ZR1 (which has 638 horsepower) has superior accelerationnote  and top speednote  compared to a ZL1 (let alone a customized, 1000 horsepower ZR1). This is noteworthy because after Cortez notices from the GPS that he's very close to Mexico, he pushes the ZR1 to its limit, in which case he should have easily outrun the ZL1. Then again, nothing's stopping the mayor from customizing his car, so maybe the ZL1 has also been turbocharged.
  • Instant Convertible: Ray has made one of these by the end of the film.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Ray’s relationship with all his deputies, especially Jerry, who is almost like a son.
  • It's Personal: Ray makes it more personal to bust Cortez's gang after they kill his friend, Jerry.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Jerry tries out Dinkum's Hand Cannon, underestimating its severe recoil. Following a very painful smack into his nose and an ensuing negligent discharge (very Truth in Television if you lose control of such a gun), Dinkum and Mike have to try to get it out of his hands as he stumbles around in pain waving the gun in every direction.
  • Jurisdiction Friction:
    • Agent Bannister calls Sheriff Owens and vaguely apprises him of the situation, politely telling him that he's sending a SWAT team and to stay out of the way.
      Agent Bannister: No offense, but I want them handling this.
      Sheriff Owens: Listen, I can't talk right now. I've got to go. [HANGS UP]
    • Then shown by Torrance in her disdain for the Feds' late arrival.
      Agent Bannister: John Bannister, FBI.
      Deputy Torrance: Glad you could make it...
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted. At first, we're lead to believe Richards is going to get away scott-free, but Bannister soon learns she was in cahoots with Cortez and has her arrested the instant he reunites with her.
  • Kinda Busy Here: Played seriously — the reason Owens hangs up on the FBI is because he's recently found a murder victim, and for all he knows the killer is still in the area.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Mike initially tries to talk Owens out of taking on the mercenaries, on account of the mercenaries having both superior numbers and weapons. Owens instead drops by Dinkum's museum to even the odds.
  • The Last Title: The title.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Happens when Ray and his deputies borrow weapons from Dinkum's museum.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Dinkum owns a not-insignificant arsenal of guns and ammunition under the allegedly-shakeynote  legal premise that he runs a museum. It's implied Owens lets him get away with it because Dinkum is a harmless kook.
    • Dinkum owns a non-functional Vickers machine gun, but has hunted down all the necessary parts to repair it. But as long as they're not actually in the gun, he can't be charged with owning a machine gun. There is actually a legal means to own and fire such weapons: a BATFE Class-III license for "destructive devices," but that wouldn't be as funny.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Oh, so much.
  • Mauve Shirt: Jerry Bailey.
  • May–December Romance: Figgy's girlfriend Christie is played by an actress 27 years younger than he is.
  • The Mole: Agent Ellen Richards.
  • More Dakka: In addition to the Vickers machine gun, Mike Figuerola uses a Tommy gun. The Vickers gun literally cuts one Mook in half, just as it probably should in Real Life.
  • Never Mess with Granny: The sweet and adorable Mrs. Salazar, who blasts a Mook who trespassed in her store/home. Even better, she has an Uberti revolver carbine conveniently within reach right in the knitting basket.
    Mrs. Salazar: No trespassing!
  • New Old West: Machine-guns and rocket launchers and cell phones and souped-up cars aside, this is a tale about a sheriff going to war to fend off the oncoming better-armed criminal horde on a Run for the Border. Burrel even shows a preference for walking around acting like a gunslinger with old-school Hand Cannon six-shooters that make up with killing power their impracticality next to a semi-automatic.
  • Parking Payback: The set-up is pretty long, as in movie-long: in the first scene, the town's mayor leaves his cool new Camaro parked by a fire hydrant and he dismisses Owens' warning by telling him nothing is going to happen and even tossing Owens the keys before leaving with the football team. In the very last scene, after all of the mayhem has ended, he and the football team return to town to see it full of Feds, dead bodies, gun damage, and the Camaro completely wrecked thanks to Owens using it in the final car chase. The mayor freaks out.
    Owens: (final line of the film) You shouldn't have left it parked next to a fire hydrant.
  • Precision F-Strike: Quite a lot. One of the examples:
    Unnamed Officer: So much for blowing him [Cortez] up...
    Agent Bannister: Shut the fuck up!
  • Police Are Useless: The FBI and other law enforcement agencies and police departments other than Sheriff Owens and his deputies are shown to be highly incompetent, unhelpful and abrasive towards Owens. Or even corrupt.
  • Posse: After one of his deputies is murdered, Ray finds himself having to deal with the fact that a bunch of Mexican cartel members are about to make things rough for him, especially since SWAT and the FBI won't be able to make it to his town in time to help. Enter Frank, an ex-Marine with a drinking issue, who wants to help avenge his friend, and Dinkum, who owns a museum of obsolete, yet functional, firearms, who wants to carry his favorite gun. Ray ends up deputizing them, and using Dinkum's armory.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: An unusual example as one character gets this when shot with a Hand Cannon at close range when his head should have exploded like a watermelon. The back of his head ended up all over the walls and ceiling, though, so it's partially averted.
  • Product Placement: Virtually all of the vehicles in this film are made by General Motors.
  • Redshirt Army: All of the cops that appear except for Owens and (most of) his deputies. Several get killed on the initial getaway in Vegas, a blockade gets to know first-hand how much firepower Cortez' goons are packing and the much-vaunted SWAT Team that Bannister sends to the town gets run off the road enroute with all hands lost by Cortez himself.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: In addition to the .500 Magnum, The Dragon uses an old west-style revolver.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: The Mole still has to play the hostage for the villain's getaway and being shoved out of a speeding car can be enough to kill someone.
  • Run for the Border: The entire plot is driven by the fact that Cortez is trying to do this.
  • Running Gag: Owens is always hanging up on Agent Bannister.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Jerry's death is what makes the final conflict against Cortez's crew more than just law enforcement doing their jobs.
  • Schizo Tech: Dinkum dual wields a revolver and a shield at one point. Not a modern day tactical shield, mind you, but a medieval shield.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Cortez tries to bribe Owens to let him pass, but Owens bluntly turns him down.
    Owens: My honor is not for sale.
  • Semper Fi: Martinez used to be a Marine, and even has "Semper Fi" tattooed on his forearm.
  • Shipper on Deck: Even while dying from a gunshot wound Jerry encourages Sarah to give her ex-boyfriend, Frank, a second chance.
  • Shout-Out: After the Lock-and-Load Montage, Figuerola is seen holding the Atlantean Sword from the 1982 Conan the Barbarian film.
  • Swiss Bank Account: Subverted in that The Mole learns the hard way that they are not that secret anymore as the FBI is able to get the info they need for an arrest.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: A few examples include Frank shooting a Mook 13 times at close range and Owens tackling a Mook off the roof of a building and putting a point-blank bullet in his head while both are still falling. Using a Carl Gustav recoilless rifle on unarmored cars is pretty much overkill and a waste of good ammunition... But then again, it was used by the bad guys.
  • Timber!: Shouted by Dinkum as he chops down a pole. Though given he couldn't hear Torrance's warning, it's still hung by the cables atop it... and so it only falls as Dinkum climbs to detach them manually!
  • Token Enemy Minority: The enemy is a Mexican drug cartel. Owens has a couple of Hispanic deputies.
  • Urban Legend: This film takes the urban legend about a drug runner burning down desert roads at night in a black sports car and builds a film on it.
  • Villainous Valor: Cortez puts up a surprisingly determined fight. Even briefly getting the upper-hand, by pulling out a concealed dagger and cutting the Sheriff's legs up pretty badly.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Cortez carries a SIG-Sauer P229 early in the film (this is noticeable because Cortez is the only character in the film to have a P229), and uses it to kill an FBI agent. When confronted by Owens on the bridge, one would expect Cortez to just pull out his pistol and shoot Owens, but the gun is never seen again. Considering he just got into a severe wreck, that totaled his car and left him dazed, it's not hard to believe he lost it at some point.
  • Working with the Ex: Frank Martinez and Sarah Torrance.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Owens busts out a German suplex and a powerbomb during his final fight with the Big Bad.