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Non-Review Review: The Last Stand

In theory, The Expendables demonstrated that age was no real impairment when it came to the task of kicking ass and taking names, even if you might need to put your reading glasses on first. So, you could argue that the issue of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s age doesn’t really need to come up during The Last Stand. We know that he is 65 years of age, and we also know that he’s probably a great deal fitter than most of us will be at that age. (Being honest, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that a hexagenarian Arnie could trump most people in their prime.) As a result, the fixation of The Last Stand on the age of its leading man feels a little strange.

It feels especially strange because it eats into a lot of the film. The Last Stand is mostly functional, but its pacing suffers greatly. We’re going to see an Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle, so it’s safe to assume that (a.) we’re okay with his advancing age, and (b.) we want to see him kick some whippersnapper ass. Unfortunately, The Last Stand seems to misjudge the audience’s interest in an Arnie film, and as a result our leading man spends most of the first three-quarters of the film doing very little.

The Last Stand is clearly intended to demonstrate the viability of its leading man in this modern age, but it seems to lack the confidence to just dive into the action that this sort of film is meant to provide. The result is a strange mish-mash of a film that winds up wasting a lot of good will long before it reaches its climax.

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He’s back!

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Mark Millar’s Run on Marvel Knights Spiderman – Vol. 1 (Hardcover)

With the news of the Spider-Man reboot being bandied about and the rumour that they were “darker and edgier” with the character, I thought I’d best check out what “dark and edgy” Spider-Man looks like. Here’s a hint: it isn’t Spider-Man III. I picked up Marvel Knights: Spider-Man. For those not-too-versed in comic book lore, Marvel Knights was basically the “mature” branding for Marvel properties, like Vertigo is over at DC (Neil Gaiman’s Sandman was published at Vertigo, for example). Basically, Marvel attempted to publish several books under this header – including Spider-Man and Kevin Smith’s relaunch of Daredevil – the idea being to offer more “grown up” versions of the familiar superheroes. While it’s entirely unfair to take the fact that the series was rebranded within three years as evidence of it’s quality, it failed to convince me that Spider-Man really needs to be made “darker and edgier”.

Yes, "darker and edgier" is a euphemism for "more violent"...

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