Red band trailers are the new trendy form of film marketing, as noted on the 2013 movie recap SR Underground Podcast episode (during a discussion of the Evil Dead trailer). Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback vehicle The Last Stand is the latest movie to get on that craze.
Today’s restricted-audiences clip inserts expletives and bloody payoffs into what is otherwise a truncated version of the green band Last Stand trailers. It calls back to last week’s Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters red band promo, which adds but a few seconds of previously-unseen R-Rated material (literally); though, to be fair, the former at least serves up a new Schwarzenegger f-bomb laced one-liner.
Last Stand stars Ahnuld as Ray Owens, the crusty sheriff of a sparsely-populated Mexican boarder town that’s the only thing between an escaped drug cartel kingpin (Eduardo Noriega) and freedom. Forest Whitaker, Jaimie Alexander (Thor: The Dark World), Rodrigo Santoro (300: Rise of an Empire) and Peter Stormare (Witch Hunters) help round out the cast; meanwhile, Johnny Knoxville (Jackass) and Luis Guzmán (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) bring on the funny as the enthusiastic, but incompetent, recruits for Ray’s makeshift “army.”
Director Jee-woon Kim (The Good, the Bad, the Weird, I Saw the Devil) is making his Hollywood debut. By the look of it, he’s carried over the same off-beat sense of humor – and willingness to push genre conventions to the (violent and/or comical extreme) – from his previous movies for Last Stand. That’s why Arnold’s new film feels like a self-winking callback to his Reagan-era action vehicles, updated to take the modern reality of violent Mexican drug cartels into account (like the Scarface remake, according to recent rumors).
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Andrew Knauer’s screenplay – with revisions from George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) and Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Traitor) – was originally gearing up as more of a straight-faced western/action mashup, with Liam Neeson starring. However, once Arnold came aboard, the script mechanics has to be retuned for an American hero protagonist with a penchant for cracking one-liners (and inexplicably speaking in an Austian accent).
Kim does bring more an outsider’s perspective to the proceedings, which gives Last Stand even more self-awareness than it might’ve had in a native U.S. filmmaker’s hands (with someone like Neeson headlining). That’s probably for the best, seeing how it could allow for a healthy balance between celebrating and satirizing Ahnuld’s cinematic legacy (similar to The Expendables 2‘s fantasy-parody approach).
The Last Stand opens in theaters on January 18th. Will you be checking it out?