Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator), Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Peter Stormare (The Big Lebowski), Luis Guzman (Boogie Nights), Jamie Alexander (Thor), Johnny Knoxville (Jackass)

Director: Kim Jee-woon (The Good, the Bad, the Weird)

Writer: Andrew Knauer

Runtime: 1 hour 47 minutes

Release Date: 18 January (US), 24 January (UK)

The legendary king of action has returned to his roots for his first leading man role in 10 years. Can an old dog still learn new tricks, or should Arnold have never said, “I’ll be back”?


Let me get this out of the way quickly: this movie is f***ing stupid. Ridiculously so. But that by no means it is bad. This is classic dumb fun, and no amount of nitpicking can stop it from being so. Sure, there are plot holes abound and moments where the laws of physics takes a nap, but the film’s complete lax attitude towards common sense means it never bothered me. The dialogue, however, is another story. Action movies like this are rarely the work of Shakespeare, but the exposition dumping here is colossally clunky and never feels natural. On the other side of it, the film lacks good one-liners; for an Arnold movie, that’s majorly disappointing. The film is also quite slow at the start, but sitting through it is worth it to get to the last half hour, which is an action extravaganza that will constantly leave you in both shock and laughter.

I hate to say it, but it’s true: Arnold Schwarzenegger has never been a good actor. I love the guy, faults and all, but age and experience hasn’t exactly done much to improve his acting ability. Regardless, it’s great to see him back. The rest of the cast are capable, but none of them truly shine that bright. Whitaker often looks like he’s going through the motions, whilst Stormare gives the usual strange performance he gives in 95% of his movies. Guzman and Knoxville often lighten up the film during its duller moments, but the film really needs much more Arnold that it has.

When The Last Stand gets into action mode, it goes straight for the highest gear. The stuff on display here doesn’t exactly break the mould like The Raid, but it is still crazy and bombastic enough to entertain thoroughly. The cinematography really livens up the action, though it is still occasionally too close for comfort. That combined with some choppy editing can sometimes ruin the flow of the carnage, and that’s disappointing. When will action filmmakers take a hint and film action from a distance? For every film like Skyfall or Jack Reacher that does it right, we get a dozen movies edited in this nausea-enducing fashion. Despite this, the film delivers on what it promises.

The Last Stand is loud, idiotic, violent trash…and bloody great fun! I went in not asking for anything thought provoking and came out with a smirk on my face. Arnold is back on screen and, though maybe not in the best shape or in the best film, I couldn’t be happier.



Starring: Colin Farrell (Phone Booth), Sam Rockwell (Moon), Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction), Woody Harrelson (Zombieland)

Director/Writer: Martin McDonagh (In Bruges)

Runtime: 1 hour 50 minutes

Release Date: October 12 (US), December 7 (UK)

Seven Psychopaths is the second feature from former playwright Martin McDonagh, who wrote and directed the Oscar-winning short Six Shooter and the feature In Bruges. With this new outing, he continues his penchant for making crime films with a very quirky sense of humour and makes what may be his best work yet and one of the best films of the year.

The plot of the film is pretty preposterous, but considering the outlandish tone of the film it fits. The film moves along well, mainly thanks to it following the Airplane! rule of comedy: keep throwing jokes so fast that the audience doesn’t notice the duds. The film is incredibly quotable and full of memorable moments, making for a script that never stops delivering. The film also uses meta humour, though not as blatantly as something like The Cabin in the Woods or Scream. The film uses this brand of comedy to deconstruct the thriller genre, often mimicking events that eventually play out in the film. This is most often seen in reconstructions of scenes from Marty’s (Farrell) screenplay or someone telling a gruesome tale, and all of them are so ridiculous that you won’t stop chuckling. All I can say negative (and it doesn’t detract points because it’s not the film’s fault) is that the trailer does lie quite a bit, but it’s one of those rare cases where it’s done to keep some of the film’s mysteries quiet instead of trying to make something crap look better.

The cast of Seven Psychopaths is phenomenal and all deliver great performances. Farrell gives one of his career bests, Walken is consistently laugh out loud hilarious (though I often wonder how aware of it he is), Harrelson plays f***ing nuts to the nth degree, and Tom Waits is pretty funny too in his brief role. But the standout here is Sam Rockwell. Everything that comes out of his mouth is funny, quirky and utterly insane. He’s the kind of character that if played by another actor and badly written could become just an annoying prat, but Rockwell and McDonagh know how to keep it reeled in just enough that it remains humorous. Rockwell’s performance easily rivals his performance in Moon, and that’s saying something.

Comedies are hardly ever the most technically astounding movies, and Seven Psychopaths is no different. While the film is very violent and features some creative kills, this isn’t exactly Die Hard but it’s not trying to be. The movie does have a pretty decent soundtrack, but other than that there’s not much to say, but that’s most certainly not a bad thing.

Seven Psychopaths is one of the best movies of the year. I know I’ve been saying that a lot in my past few reviews, but I mean it. The film is furiously funny and cleverly uses it’s humour to pick apart the classic Hollywood thriller. You’d have to be an utter psychopath to miss this one.