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Originally published January 17, 2013 at 12:09 PM | Page modified January 17, 2013 at 2:16 PM

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Schwarzenegger falls flat in ‘The Last Stand’

A movie review of “The Last Stand,” a violent, pointless lawmen vs. bad guys on the Mexican border vehicle for the way-past-his-prime Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Special to The Seattle Times

Movie Review 1 stars

“The Last Stand,” with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eduardo Noriega, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Peter Stormare. Directed by Kim Jee-woon, from a screenplay by Andrew Knauer. 107 minutes. Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout and language. Several theaters.

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Step right up, folks! It’s Uncle Arnie’s Shooting Gallery and Dinosaur Ranch, aka “The Last Stand”!

We’ve got big-bore weaponry. Machine guns. Shotguns. Handguns. We’ve even got a rocket-propelled grenade launcher for blowing stuff up real good.

We’ve got a wide selection of targets. Shoot up a car. Shoot up lots of cars. Shoot up a cop. Shoot up lots of cops. Shoot up a town.

It’s all here. And more besides. More, like ... him.

Once he roamed the land, an unstoppable force, the biggest, baddest monster the megaplex had ever seen. Arnold. Schwarzenegger. Tremble in fear.

But let’s face it, his day was a long time ago: the ’80s, the ’90s. Eons ago, in box- office time. You might have thought he had gone extinct.

But no. After a sojourn into politics and a slide into scandal, Arnie is, as he likes to say, “back.” And he keeps lumbering onward — thrashing and bashing about in a movie with an itty-bitty dino-sized brain.

Arnie is playing the sheriff in a dinky Arizona town on the Mexican border toward which a fugitive drug kingpin (Eduardo Noriega) is rushing at 160 mph in a super souped-up Corvette. He’s busted out of FBI custody, and the feds, a pathetically ineffectual bunch, can’t catch him. He blows past police roadblocks. He outruns a cop chopper. He and an army of henchmen leave a trail of perforated sheet metal and perforated police bodies in their wake. Only Sheriff Arnie and a handful of ill-trained deputies stand between him and Mexican asylum.

It would seem a few well-placed tire-puncture strips stretched across the road would short-circuit this chase, but no one thinks of that (small brain!). So it’s vroom, vroom until the boom, boom starts when the bad guys hit town and turn the place into a shooting gallery.

Arnie uncorks pallid one-liners — “I’m the sheriff” — as he and his deputies unleash whoop-ass on the baddies.

Antique formula, meet antique action star. This dino is indeed extinct, and only he doesn’t seem to know it.

Soren Andersen:

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