Former action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger is hoping to prove he's still a master of playing onscreen badasses with Jee-Woon Kim's Last Stand - or The Last Stand, depending on who you ask - a project that's been described as something of a cross between Die Hard and the Fast and the Furious franchise.
Schwarzenegger won't have to do all the heavy-lifting (get it?) in Last Stand by himself, seeing how he'll be starring alongside several young
whipper-snappers thespians as the members of a sleepy border town's police squad - who are put to the test when they have to face-off against a vicious drug lord and his cartel thugs.
Variety has confirmed that Jaimie Alexander is the latest addition to the Last Stand cast. Alexander has slowly, but steadily, become more of a name actress over the past several years, with a recurring role on Kyle XY and her brief, but memorable supporting turn as the lady warrior Sif in Thor. Between her involvement in Schwarzenegger's new vehicle - and, possibly, an expanded role in Thor 2 - Alexander's starmeter should continue to rise in the foreseeable future.
Alexander will appear in Last Stand as female lead Sarah Torrance, a gorgeous cop who works under the command of Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) - a disgraced ex-LAPD officer who now serves as sheriff of a small U.S.-Mexico border town called Sommerton Junction. Owens' police squad includes Frank Martinez (Rodrigo Santoro) - who carries on a "playful" romance with Sarah - and another youthful cop, played by Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights).
Things come to a head in Last Stand when the aforementioned drug kingpin escapes from prison and frantically races to cross the border to safety. Owens and his fellow lawmen strive to stop both the criminal and his gang, which is headed by a ruthless war veteran named Burrell (Peter Stormare).
Last Stand was originally scripted by relative newcomer Andrew Knauer, before it was retooled by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (The Day After Tomorrow, Traitor) - and, most recently, reworked again by George Nolfi (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Adjustment Bureau). So, all in all, their collective resume suggests that Last Stand should be a solid thrill ride, as far as the writing side of things go. Combine that with Kim's proven ability to deliver an exciting and adrenaline-fueled western-flavored action flick (see: The Good, the Bad, the Weird) and there's good reason to think Last Stand could be worthwhile.
Schwarzenegger seems to be the true wild card, as far as the quality of Last Stand goes. While Ah-nuld arguably demonstrated that he still had enough of a physically-intimidating screen presence in his last major film role - Termiantor 3: Rise of the Machines - almost a decade will have passed by the time Last Stand arrives in theaters. So there's reason to be concerned that the (onetime) beefy actor's skills have become a bit rusty.
On the other hand - the character of Owens is almost a perfect fictional reflection of Schwarzenegger - ie. he's a onetime admired but now aging badass who has the chance to both redeem his public image and prove that he's not ready to retire just yet. In that regard, Last Stand could be exactly the sort of comeback vehicle Arnold needs to resurrect his career.
Principal photography on Last Stand begins on location in New Mexico in about two weeks time, so that the film makes its scheduled January 18th, 2013 U.S. release date.